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Huge Cocaine Seizure at Kingston Container Terminal

Published:Thursday | February 26, 2015 | 2:00 AMRyon Jones

Local law-enforcement netted a big catch on Monday when they made the largest cocaine seizure to date this year, after 114 kilograms (251.327 pounds) of cocaine were prevented from departing Jamaica's shores.

The drug haul, which has an estimated value of US$1.4 million (J$161.8 million), was found around 4 p.m. in a container during security checks at  Kingston Container Terminal.

"It was found in three black canvas bags in a container waiting to be loaded on to a vessel destined for the United States," head of the Narcotics Branch, Senior Superintendent of Police Calvin Small, told The Gleaner.

"Where coke is concerned, this is the largest so far this year. The other cocaine seizures are just some small seizures, mainly at the airport."

Small was very pleased that the joint venture between the Narcotics Branch, Jamaica Customs and security personnel at the facility was able to detect the drugs before they got on to the vessel destined for Alabama.

"It is heading into the States, one of our major markets, and so to stop it here, I think is a good win for law enforcement and for Jamaica, in general, and the ports," Small said.

No arrests have been made as investigations are ongoing, but Small is warning those involved in the illicit drug trade that the police are committed to the cause of disturbing their activities and bringing them before the court.

"We are always on the alert and we know some of the methods that are being utilised, and so, we are looking out for them," Small said.

"When shipments are con-taminated it gives a bad name to the country, so I want to encourage those who are engaging in these illegal practices to desist. And those who are aware of such practices, they can come with the information to us and we will treat it in the strictest of confidence."

ryon.jones@gleanerjm.com