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Jamaica, UK sign MOU to continue fight against illicit drug trade

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2015 | 2:39 PM

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 of Cooperation.

Speaking at the signing at the Ministry of National Security’s head office on May 28, 2015, Minister of National Security, 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,” adding that “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 is meant to “send a strong signal to drug dealers, would-be-drug dealers and would-be traffickers that there will no free passage through our ports,” pointing out that since 2010 the police have arrested 1200 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, Minister 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, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, His Excellency David Fitton, said the UK is 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.