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Call for security forces to give greater attention to unprotected coastline

File photo of some of the drugs that were confiscated by the Drug Squad of the Police Force

A former high-ranking member of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has expressed fears that there could be a lapse in security arrangements by key law enforcement agencies which is providing an opportunity for foreign criminal elements to enter the country at will.

The highly experienced ex-police officer said the Security Forces will normally get an advanced list of all passengers coming into the country whether by air or sea and can monitor to see if any suspicious persons are entering Grenada.

He told THE NEW TODAY that even if these persons managed to escape the dragnet and came in undetected by Immigration and Customs that another system was put in place to look out for them.

“Every 3 months we had a security (operation) where we go and look for undocumented foreigners and sometimes we used to call it Vincy Operation,” he said.

According to the ex-senior police officer, RGPF was fully aware that a lot of nationals from St Vincent & The Grenadines were moving in and out of Grenada without entering through the legal ports of entries.

“We had that operation – that operation was ongoing – you must do that. If you don’t get them there and then, but you know their associates and their associates’ neighbours – the associates neighbours will give you little information that such and such person does come in at such and such time.”

The ex-cop suspects that RGPF is no longer engaged in such an operation and the criminal elements are now taking full advantage of the situation.

“If you are not looking at the unauthorised ports of entries –what you think is going to happen,” he quipped.

The retired police officer noted that the newly installed head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Superintendent Esau Pierre is fully aware of the issue because as a member of the Drug Squad he was involved in such an operation.

He recalled that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) used to conduct the operation on its own at times and on other occasions jointly with the Drug Squad.

“We don’t have vessels to patrol all the coastlines so the necessary hot spots for those kinds of activities were policed and challenged at least once every three months,” he said.

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The former top member of the Police Force disclosed that the drug-infested community of Woburn was targeted in the past and was often raided by law enforcement officers based on information obtained about the illegal drug trade in the area.

He said that despite complaints from some residents, the lawmen continued with their operation in Woburn until those involved in the illegal activity stopped out of fear of being caught.

According to the former top cop, the island must not listen to a small minority of residents who are crying out against the police drug operations in their community.

He said: “You listen to a community and spoil the nation. You can’t afford to do those things. You have to make sure that the good name of Grenada is elevated and not a village. Even if the village has to be destroyed just to save everybody you have to do it.”

“When it was The Ghetto (on the Carenage) we did it but right now they are not doing it (raid and stop the illegal drug trade) for 4-Roads in Town. We did it for River Road, we did it for Fontenoy/Grand Mal – those things have to be done.”

The ex-police officer complained that the current officers in RGPF seem to lack knowledge and understanding of what he referred to as “targeted investigation, targeted policing.”

“You have an issue in your community, you target that issue and the issue (now) is cocaine,” he said.

He noted that the current prevalence of cocaine in the Grenadian society started on the sister isle of Carriacou as some residents up there were openly engaged in conducting business in the illegal trade.

“When you see all those white men drowning outside Carriacou, they go and dive behind the cocaine that was in the water and they drown and people kill them. So it (the cocaine trade) moved from Carriacou and it is now in Woburn.”

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