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Senator believes more must be done to combat drug flow

At least one Government Senator believes that the majority of illegal drugs in Barbados are imported. Reverend David Durant is also of the opinion that if local security personnel carry out random checks on all fishing vessels returning to the country, it could help stem the flow of the contraband into the island.

Speaking on the Health Services Amendment Bill in the Upper Chamber earlier today, Durant said more needed to be done if Barbados was to win the fight against illegal drugs.

Senator Reverend David Durant

Senator Reverend David Durant

“How are the drugs getting into Barbados?” Durant asked. “ I do not drive around and see any marijuana plantations in Barbados. Someone may plant some marijuana in their backyard and when they are found they are confiscated by lawmen.

“I do not go around and see the cocoa plant from which you get cocaine around the country. I do not see factories manufacturing these drugs around Barbados. So where are the drugs coming from? How are they arriving in the country? I want to say they are imported.”

He however said that while importation was the problem, “we need to get to the root of the problem”.

“Rehabilitation would not be necessary if the drugs are not imported and sold in our country,” he contended.

Having concluded that the drugs were being imported into the country, the Government senator called for the strengthening of security at the major ports of entry.

“I think we need to strengthen the security at the airport and also strengthen the security at our seaports. I say the seaports because there is also Port St Charles in St Peter. I go further and say strengthen security where fishing boats come in.

“I think also our Coast Guards should be able to intercept and just make random checks on boats on the high seas, because we do not know what the cargo may be. Many things are happening today and we cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend that things may not be happening on the high seas,” the Reverend said.

The cleric recalled that the Customs and Excise Department had reported that most of the marijuana seized in 2012 came from Jamaica and was seized at the Bridgetown Port, while the majority of cocaine that entered the island came from Trinidad through the Grantley Adams International Airport.

Addressing the presence of guns in the island, Durant concluded that there were too many guns and lamented the fact that too many young people were caught up in a vicious cycle of violence.

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