UN mission in Haiti joins national police force in drug bust operation

30 December 2008

United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti and the country’s police force have seized 50 kilograms of cannabis in the first joint drugs bust of its kind in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

The large-scale anti-drugs operation – between the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, and the Haitian National Police (HNP) – struck three sites in the south of the country.

The largest capture came from a disused nightclub near a beach in Aquinas, where the blue helmets and HNP found 35 kilograms of the illicit herb and four motor boats that were destroyed by court order.

“This old nightclub served as a base for traffickers. The boats are powerful enough to make the trip to Jamaica, where drugs shipped to that region of Haiti generally come from,” said MINUSTAH director of police operations, Jean-Marie Bourry.

The 22 December raids seized another 15 kilograms of cannabis on the property of an alleged drug dealer on the island of Grosse Caye, opposite Aquinas, but the search of another suspect’s house in Aquinas turned up empty handed.

“This is the first time that MINUSTAH has carried out a special operation of this magnitude, bringing together so many people. It was a combination of helicopter, sea and land,” said Mr. Bourry.

While the anti-drug offensive has resulted in fairly thin results and no arrests have been made, officials say they are satisfied, MINUSTAH reported in a press release today.

“One of the objectives of this operation was to show that the police can intervene in Haiti in coordination and on mass based on the information obtained,” stressed Mr. Bourry, adding that “This is just the beginning. Other operations of this kind are expected.”

 

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