Monthly Archives: November 2020

Lessons from the 11.5 tonnes of Cocaine seized from Guyana

The seizure of 1.5 tonnes of cocaine in a rice shipment that originated in Guyana in August 2020 in Hamburg, Germany was contained in my 2020 e-book on the on the illicit trades in the Dominican Republic, Suriname , Venezuela, French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe. Then came news out of Antwerp, Brussels of the seizure in November 2020 of containers of scrap metal from Guyana containing 11.5 tonnes of cocaine. These are the lessons of this event: As I pointed out in my 2020 e-book the Guinanas have all been switched on as a tag team export point for cocaine to Europe. The November 2020 operation from Guyana using scrap metal was not of the trafficking standard demanded by the MTTOs for its trafficking arm. The load was too large and unprofessionally packed for export in types of scrap metal that did not afford cover for the product. In one container they loaded the product into a metal chest which was nearly the length of the shipping container, they then placed the metal chest into the shipping container and closed the container doors. In the other container loads of kilo bricks were placed in brightly colored plastic bags and simply covered with scrap metal that did not immerse the product in metal as they did not expend the effort to acquire specific types of scrap metal and then insert the kilo bricks into the scrap metal as pipes, cylinders etc. A trafficking operation that was sloppy, unprofessional and substandard which indicated it was the product of a Colombian paramilitary group seeking to break the monopoly of the European market policed by the MTTOs and their partners in transnational Italian organized crime. The MTTOs and the Ndrangheta simply gave them up. The potent lesson is how easily this substandard trafficking group purchased impunity from Guyanese State agents as the containers were scanned before export, passed as fit for export with the scans deleted from the scanning machine. In the Caribbean the State is captured by the traffickers and the annual interdiction made of illicit drugs in no way reflects the actual volume of product moving through these States, interdiction is a political game where the level of interdiction today is not even 5% of the volume of product moving through the State. The war on drugs is lost, just a fake war and an exercise in social control over poor people. Covid-19 and its use by the politicians of the Caribbean as an instrument of social control where the police are now enforcers of good behavior meant that the already inadequate policing of the trade has collapsed as the volume of product flowing through these Caribbean States has increased dramatically. The best example of this is the collapse of the ganja wars in T&T as supply has flooded the market under the policing of not good Covid behavior. Covid has allowed an increase in drug production in the cocaine and ganja production centers and production has expanded to non traditional production centers, the drive for offshore production. Whenever the politicians of the Caribbean grudgingly give up their Covid derived power to police bad Covid behavior they will then face a transnational illicit trade at its most potent in the history of the Caribbean from Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Federation to the MTTOs. Pax Mexicana!

In my latest book on transnational organized crime and the illicit trades in the Caribbean I pointed out that the colonial legacy in the Caribbean of the French, the Dutch and the British through their overseas territories in the Caribbean in the 21st Century are all connected to the neo-colonial metropole via illicit trafficking pipelines to Europe. The largest cocaine seizure in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in the history of the BVI, some 2.3 tonnes of cocaine or 2,300 kilo bricks were seized on November 13, 2020 at a building under construction owned by a BVI policeman with 20 years service. The cocaine load was not packaged in the industry standard bales to facilitate trafficking by boat up the ECTP. Each bale was wrapped in translucent packaging with each kilo wrapped to insulate it from the ingress of water. The load was then collected from the mother ship by the coastal transporter where it was handed over for secured storage until its departure for the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico or for export to Britain and Europe. Given that we are now in the hurricane season which is coming to an end, a pleasure craft crossing the Atlantic will stick out but there are a range of choices available. Since the 1980s there is a functioning trafficking pipeline from T&T to the BVI and cash smuggling from the BVI to T&T. The failure to interdict in no way means that the trafficking pipelines don’t exist, what it means is the failure of policing and the lack of political will. There is another potent reason for transnational organized crime to be active in the BVI, which is their thriving offshore sector where illicit money enters the offshore sector, is washed clean and returned to transnational organized crime groups. The 2.3 tonnes of cocaine seized in BVI is simply a potent indicator of the MTTOs strategy to maximize the opportunities offered by the geographical location of the Caribbean married to weak, underdeveloped, complicit States, especially the national security apparatus, where impunity is for sale, towards the generation of wealth. The value given for the 2.3 tonnes of cocaine seized in the BVI is equivalent to 75% of its national budget. This is the reality of the power relation of the Caribbean between Caribbean States and the MTTOs which the hegemonic oligarchies of the Caribbean relentlessly must silence, that transnational organized crime can in the 21st Century purchase the national security apparatus of any Caribbean State it targets! Pax Mexicana!