Jamaica’s security forces continue to deal a blow to narcotrafficking, despite the difficulties from COVID-19. In just three operations conducted between May and June, the Jamaican Defence Force (JDF) and the Police seized more than 6 metric tons of marijuana. According to Jamaican newspaper Loop Jamaica, one of the seizures was considered to be the largest ever on the Caribbean island.
On June 27, the JDF reported on its Facebook page the seizure of 1,179 kilograms of marijuana during an operation in the Lances Bay neighborhood, in the north of the island. Authorities captured three Bahamian citizens during the operation, the JDF said.
On June 4, the security forces confiscated 1,164 kg of marijuana, in the town of Alligator Pond, in the south of the country, Loop Jamaica reported. According to police reports mentioned in the newspaper, police agents and members of the JDF carried out an operation where they found the marijuana hidden among bushes. No one was detained in that seizure.
The confiscation in Alligator Pond took place less than a month after authorities seized 3,946 kg of marijuana, on May 4, in what is considered the largest marijuana seizure in Jamaican history, local media such as Jamaica Observer and Loop Jamaica reported. Four persons were captured.
According to the U.S. Department of State’s 2020 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Jamaica is still the largest marijuana producer in the Caribbean. Traffickers, the report says, export marijuana grown in Jamaica to other countries in the Caribbean, in exchange for weapons and other illicit smuggled products.
“Jamaica’s geographic position in the western Caribbean and its difficult-to-patrol coastline, high volume of tourist travel, and status as a major containerized cargo transshipment hub contribute to its use for drug trafficking,” via commercial shipping, small watercraft, air freight, human couriers, and private aircraft, the report indicates.