Collusion between traffickers, cops observed in ten states
Suriname diplomatic bags cited

Stabroek News
February 1, 2001

Collusion between drug traffickers, law enforcement and elected officials has been observed in at least ten countries in the Caribbean, the 2000 report of the Caribbean Drug Control Coordination Mechanism (CCM), said.

And arrests and reports of drug-related corruption are present in every country in the region, it added. "Increasing numbers of mid- and low-level law enforcement officers have been arrested for narcotics-related corruption."

According to the CCM, almost ten kilogrammes of cocaine were discovered last year when a platform truck accidentally ran over two diplomatic bags destined for the Surinamese Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands.

Another example cited in the report was in Jamaica where several police officers were charged with drug-related offences in 1999, and it was believed that many more provided protection to drug traffickers.

Recently, the report said, Amsterdam airport authorities arrested a Curacao district attorney, who was engaged as a courier who had body-packed cocaine. In Haiti, reports of drug corruption among officers were innumerable and in 1999 250 police officers were dismissed for drug-related crimes.

In January 1999, two Haitian police officers fled to the Dominican Republic carrying 33 kilogrammes of cocaine which had been seized during an operation mounted in their jurisdiction. "Suspicions of cocaine trafficking involvement among high-level appointed and elected officials are widespread," the report said.

In the Dominican Republic, corruption in the judicial and prison systems had allegedly prevented the prosecution of important drug traffickers and has supported premature releases.

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