Law Enforcement Officers from Region Attend Course on Precursor Chemicals


Sixteen law enforcement officers from Jamaica and 18 from other English speaking Caribbean countries, began an intensive two-week training course, yesterday (April 7), at the Twickenham Park based Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre in St. Catherine.
The course is intended to strengthen their interdiction capabilities in relation to precursor chemicals diverted to make illegal drugs.
Held annually, the programme is a collaborative effort among Jamaica, the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) and Canada, through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Chief Officer in the Supply Reduction and Control section of CICAD, Ziggie Malyniwsky told JIS News that, “what we hope to do is increase the awareness of how chemicals are used to produce drugs, give participants the knowledge and skill to identify when there is a potential problem and to safely deal with it effectively.”
He emphasized that precursor chemicals are dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands and therefore the officers needed to be educated about them.
Chemical Expert with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Glen Evans, one of the lecturers in the course, pointed out that many persons did not understand or know what chemicals were included in the making of drugs and how they are made. He explained that the course would enable the participants to identify these chemicals and how they are used to make certain drugs.
“The Caribbean is a transshipment point for these drugs and chemicals and if we can identify them as they come through, you’ll have a much better idea for interdiction and stopping the smuggling,” Mr. Evans told JIS News.
“A trained person would know if a big shipment of chemicals came in, what they are used for, how they are used and if they are important in the manufacture of drugs. So, if a shipment comes in, they would make enquiries as to where it’s going, why it is here and where it’s going to be used,” he added.
Director Principal of the centre, Bertram Millwood, said that on completion of the course, the participants would be in a better position to spot precursor chemical trading and execute drug law enforcement interdiction. “These are the chemicals that are used in legitimate business, it’s the diversion that is the problem,” he said.
The course will examine the regulatory framework for the control and monitoring of precursor chemicals frequently used in the covert production of illicit drugs, such as cocaine, opium, morphine, crack and heroine. Participants will therefore focus on chemical identification, monitoring and control of specified chemical substances, chemical diversion, chemical trafficking and trends, legislation, treaties and conventions.
Other countries represented at the course include Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, Bermuda, Montserrat, and Barbados.

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