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Jamaica lacks resources to deal with drug trafficking, says PM

Published:Wednesday | January 26, 2011 | 8:31 AM

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has lamented Jamaica's limited resources in the fight against drug trafficking in the country's waters.

Golding raised the issue while addressing more than 60 overseas and locally based diplomats, at Jamaica House yesterday.

He was providing a comprehensive country profile of Jamaica, which included trafficking of small arms and ammunition, and drugs.

Golding was frank in his admission that Jamaica lacks resources to deal with the drug trafficking issue.

The prime minister said while there have been efforts to enhance patrolling of Jamaica’s territorial waters; this isn't enough to play a significant role in disabling the drug trade.

In December, a leaked United States cable, revealed the Cuban government’s dissatisfaction with what it said was Jamaica's uncooperativeness in the fight against drug trafficking.

The Jamaican Government then admitted it was aware of Cuba's concerns and had a Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF) unit had been reorganised and renamed the Transnational Crime Narcotics Division and a senior officer was moved to another area.

Golding said that he hopes the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, launched last year by the Obama Administration, will help Jamaica solve some of the narcotics issues.

As Golding made the call for more international support in stifling trafficking efforts, he also called for the establishment of a regulatory framework in the trade of small arms and ammunition.

In the meantime, Golding has sought to assure the diplomatic corps that Jamaica is seriously tackling the crime problem.

He says strategies which have been put in place have yielded some successes with more work being done to achieve further improvements.

Golding says he has received crime statistics for up to Sunday which indicate a significant reduction in crime in the first three weeks of January.