Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Bus passengers caught up in ganja drama ... as bags with no apparent owner found to be filled with weed

Published:Tuesday | September 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
Members of the security forces examine bags of ganja found on a Coaster bus along Industrial Terrace in Kingston yesterday during the state of public emergency.

There were tense moments for passengers of a Coaster bus along Industrial Terrace in Kingston yesterday, as members of the security forces operating under the state of public emergency discovered two gym bags, one knapsack and one 'scandal' bag full of marijuana aboard the vehicle.

The scenario, which played out for several minutes, began shortly after 11:30 a.m. when the driver of the bus, which usually plies the Santa Cruz to downtown Kingston via Spanish Town route, was signalled to stop almost immediately after turning on to the road from Marcus Garvey Drive.

Passengers were then instructed to disembark the bus with their luggage, in order for the security forces to carry out a routine search. Upon completion, the security forces found four "unusually light" unclaimed bags aboard the vehicle.

Checks later revealed marijuana masked in adhesive tape inside each bag.




Commuters looked on in utter bemusement as the security forces probed, earnestly seeking to pinpoint the carriers of the bags.

Tempers began to flare as a member of the Jamaica Defence Force instructed the passengers to reboard the bus, shortly after informing them that they would be taken to the security forces' forward operating base (FOB) in Denham Town to be processed.

"Me nah go dung deh with them. Mi refuse. Me a no criminal," exclaimed one commuter.

Another elderly male who goes by the name 'Indian' was also angered by what was transpiring.

"This is foolishness. From them see me, in a my age, them must know me couldn't involve in a this," he contended.

A younger female chimed in, adding: "This a waste a my time. Suppose I going to a job interview or so. There must be a better way."

After further probes, the security forces singled out two men thought to be the carriers of the bag. Neither could present a bus ticket or any other bags upon request.

They were taken into custody by the police while the bus was escorted to the FOB.

The Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) later released a statement that one man was arrested for suspected breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act following the seizure of just under five pounds of ganja on Waltham Park Road, Kingston 11, yesterday.

The man, who is of a Kingston 8 address, was aboard a public passenger bus that was stopped and searched at one of the checkpoints under the recently implemented state of public emergency in the corporate area. He was arrested when the ganja was found in his possession. His identity is being withheld as the investigations continue, the CCU said.