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Sep 17, 2008

Customs report a 4th container of illegal drugs missing …

Story PictureIt’s beginning to look a lot like a sieve; we refer to the compound of the Port Authority where another container has gone missing and this time with the help of veteran customs officers. The container labeled “Pharmaceuticals”, is believed to be loaded with a shipment of the illegal drug Pseudoephedrine which is used for making methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, a highly addictive drug that is in great demand primarily in the U.S. It is also the fourth container to disappear since February of this year. It left the compound last night at the precise time when customs officials were attempting to put in place a mechanism to avert this same type of incidents. The police top brass gave us details of the missing container.

Crispin Jeffries, Assistant Commissioner of Police
“Yesterday a combined task force made up of police officers, customs officers, officers from the Ministry of Health, the Chief Pharmacist met with the customs officials from the northern border; Mr. Herrera, met with the chairperson from the Corozal Freezone, all in an effort to examine the whole matter of the containers. There was a lot of activities in these meetings and discussion because we were looking at the entire process. While among us, were the investigators who were investigating the missing containers. At the end of teat meeting they left and it was learnt this morning that sometime between seven-thirty last night and onwards a forty-foot container containing pharmaceuticals was released from the Customs Department. It was later learnt that that container was released fraudulently and there may have been some forgeries of the documentation. We have since taken into custody, four customs officers and we have gotten two reports, a detailed statement was recorded of the report made by one senior customs officer who is alleging that his signature was forged and there’s another senior officer who is reporting on behalf of the comptroller in relation to the missing container. I want to say that the container in question was one of several that was on a watch list based on the mode of shipment, that container had arrived on the same ship that the previous container had arrived on that we had detained and destroyed the contents or some of the contents. The information reached us and we followed through and we visited the destination where that container was destined for and we found out that in fact a container did arrive but it does not have the markings of the container that in fact left the compound last night. So that investigating team is still out in the field, another part of the team is at the Queen Street compound interviewing the other customs officers. We do know that a container from the Port Authority compound was released and it has gone into the uncustomed territory of Belize. Where it is, I don’t know. The person who was alleged to be the consignee of that container has received their container and it is that container that is said to be destined for that consigner was not destined for that particular destination and is not there.”

Jeffries says the suspect container landed in Belize last Saturday from Taiwan and was destined for somewhere beyond the Commercial Free Zone.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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