$11M drug bust
By YOHANSEH ASUKILE Thursday, June 13 2013
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SEIZED: Crocus bags filled with compressed marijuana are seen on a table at a police station in Tobago yesterday. On Tuesday night, police seized a to...
IN WHAT police have said is the biggest drug bust ever in the sister isle, compressed marijuana with an estimated local street value of $11 million was seized in two simultaneous exercises in Parlatuvier and Roxborough on Tuesday night.
The drugs are believed to have originated from St Vincent.
In one of the exercises, police officers from the Criminal Gang Intelligence Unit, placed several areas at Englishman’s Bay in Parlatuvier under surveillance as well as other areas along Northside Road which leads into the sister isle’s capital Scarborough .
According to Ag Snr Supt (Tobago Division) Garfield Moore, the officers intercepted a rented black Nissan Xtrail SUV in a road block near Runnemede. In the SUV, the officers found and seized 11 bags all containing compressed marijuana.
The driver and his passenger, both male, had attempted to avoid the road block by driving the SUV around and attempting to speed off. The SUV hit an embankment and the two occupants quickly escaped by running off.
The marijuana weighed 200 kilos and has an estimated local street value of $6.2 million. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Heflin George said arrests are expected to be made as they have impounded the SUV and found fingerprints which have been traced.
In the other exercise, this one in Belle Garden, Roxborough, officers of the Moriah and Roxborough police stations and the Tobago Special Task Force Unit, discovered ten bags of compressed marijuana, weighing 166.2 kilos valued at $5 million. The drugs were left in some bushes along the coastline.
Police believe it was either placed in the bushes to be picked up or the traffickers abandoned it on learning of the seizure in Parlatuvier.
ACP George commended the efforts of the police officers involved in both operations which led to the seizure of the large amount of marijuana.
Police sources said with a sustained marijuana eradication initiative taking place, demand for marijuana has outstripped local supplies with local traffickers seeking to use Tobago as transshipment point for marijuana imported from other Caribbean islands. Investigations are continuing.