Jamaica and United Kingdom sign MOU to continue the fight against illicit drug trade
Jamaica and the United Kingdom (UK) have intensified their fight against the transnational drug trade affecting both countries, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) of cooperation.
Speaking during the signing at the Ministry of National Security's St Andrew office yesterday, National Security Minister Peter Bunting said the "renewal of the MOU is yet another concrete demonstration of the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation that continue to exist between Jamaica and the UK".
He added: "Their assistance over the years has played an important role in the successes achieved by Jamaica's law-enforcement authorities."
The MOU will be in effect for three years, and will allow for the sharing of information, and the provision of human resources and equipment by the UK, aimed at combating the illicit drug trade between both countries.
The minister further emphasised that the signing of the MOU was meant to "send a strong signal to drug dealers, would-be-drug dealers and would-be traffickers that there will be no free passage through our ports".
He noted that, since 2010, the police have arrested 1,200 Jamaicans at ports of entry, including 1,136 at the island's international airports, most of whom were headed to the United Kingdom.
Notwithstanding these successes, Bunting said drug trafficking continues to pose a major challenge, and highlighted that it is partnerships with countries such as the UK that will help Jamaica to stem this problem effectively.
In his remarks, British High Commissioner David Fitton said the UK was pleased to enter into another agreement with Jamaica, indicating that the success of the last MOU has led the UK to increase its technical and human resource capacity to assist Jamaica in combating the transnational drug trade.