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The Counter Narcotics and Major Crimes Task Force (Operation Kingfish) toll free hotline (811), last year received 1,306 actionable calls, with operational value.
According to Minister of National Security, Senator Colonel Trevor MacMillan, this demonstrates the public’s confidence in this avenue of relaying information to the police.
Making his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on Friday (Jan. 23), Senator MacMillan informed that, “these have resulted in the arrest of over 150 persons; seizure/recovery of 77 stolen motor vehicles, seizure of several hundred pounds of ganja, and the seizure of several firearms/ammunition”.
Meanwhile, since the start of 2009, the toll free number has received 51 actionable calls, from which 56 operations were mounted. These operations have yielded: eight firearms and 27 rounds of assorted ammunition; fifteen and a half pounds of cocaine; 501 pounds of compressed ganja; one boat; eight vehicles of assorted make and models; the arrest of 13 persons on charges of murder, possession of firearms and ammunition, possession of drugs, extortion and fraud; four drums of fuel; and four boat engines.
As for the guns for drugs trade, the security forces have had significant success at dismantling highly organised networks operating out of Jamaica, which are involved in the trade between Jamaica and Haiti, the National Security Minister said.
Approximately 25,000 pounds of compressed ganja has been seized, over 15 hectares of ganja plants destroyed, and go-fast boats, with engines intact, have been seized, while several persons connected to these seizures have been arrested.
“As a result of these drug interdiction activities, there has been a reduction in the number of boats traversing the Jamaica-Haiti corridor indicating that there is a disruption in the trade. The close monitoring of several of the players in the guns for drugs trade, as well as the detention and profiling of many of the players, and frequent visits by the security forces to areas in which they operate, would have contributed to the decline in the trade,” Senator MacMillan said.
He further noted that the increase in surveillance at the ports and wharves by the Customs Department has had an effect in curtailing the flow of guns and drugs through these facilities.
“With the pressure of law enforcement activities focussed along the south east coast; the traders now appear to be shifting their activities to the south western coast in an effort to elude law enforcement interdiction activities. I wish to give the assurance that this area is being closely watched,” the Security Minister said.
Between January and December of 2008 the unit mounted over 1,500 operations as it continues to target criminals.