T&T illicit fuel sales and drug trafficking

On march 17, 2015 an AP news report indicated the interdiction of an drug ship carrying over one tonne of cocaine off the north coast of Puerto Rico. Persons were awaiting the boat’s arrival on a beach with gasoline to replenish its fuel supply suggesting that the boat was designated for a return journey. The Chief of Puerto Rican police indicated that the drug boat had made stops in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) and St Martin on its journey from Venezuela to Puerto Rico. This is an indication of the trafficking route to Puerto Rico via the Eastern Caribbean island chain. The stop in T&T was either to offload a delivery of product or to load up on illicit fuel stored in illicit fuel dumps throughout the island chain to facilitate the trafficking operation or most likely both. This is the central importance of the illicit fuel trade that emanates from T&T to the rest of the Caribbean as there can be no trafficking without safe, sustainable fuel supply and fuel dumps. This vital operation demands the purchase of impunity from agents of the state in T&T and the rest of the Caribbean. The fact that the transport boat was to return indicates the level of impunity enjoyed by this pipeline and it is highly likely that heroin is being moved via this pipeline. What then is the cargo for the return journey? The most profitable cargo is human cargo being smuggled as to St Martin and other depot posts in the Caribbean island chain.


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