Heightened security presence to be maintained at CJIA in light of threat - Minister Benn

11th February, 2014

KINGSTON - Government is pushing for the pursuit of investigations into the terror threat made to Caribbean Airlines, Guyana Flight 484, Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn told the National Assembly yesterday.

On February 7, the CAL office in Barbados received, via telephone, a threat to its 784 flight that was scheduled to travel today (February 10) out of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). “We have asked through the security operatives for contacts to pursue an investigation, to be pursued in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and if possible too in the United States of America with respect to putting at rest to determine who made the threat and its specific nature,” Minister Benn said.

The threat seemly emanated from a person with a Trinidadian accent, who rang off immediately when pressed for more information and this caused the airport to be put on high alert, Minister Benn said.

He explained that immediately following the threat that the security system and operatives and officials in CAL system and also in Guyana were alerted, and the highest level of the government. The matter was discussed at the level of Government at a meeting on February 8, but immediately on the day of the threat at 14:00hrs at a high level security meeting, the matter was assessed and measures put in place.

The heightened security posterior at CJIA, included a 100 percent screening of passengers and areas to ensure there was no sabotage with respect to that and any other flights, the Minister said. The result of the effort was that the flight departed without incident, but with some delay, due to extra screening from the airport. The flight, which also suffered a 13 percent reduction in passenger, landed successfully at Miami International Airport.

The heightened security will remain in place for the upcoming days, Minister Benn said.

CJIA’s management praises security agencies

10th February, 2014

TIMEHRI - Despite the crafty ways drugs peddlers use to smuggle illegal substances through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) – the security agencies continue their pursuit to cripple the narco-trade.

To this end, two passengers were nabbed separately on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Timehri aerodrome with approximately 20 kilogrammes of cocaine found in tamarind achar.

At 15:45h, the baggage of 77 year-old Winston Blake, a United States of America citizen, unearthed two packages of achar. The cocaine - over 10 kilos - was concealed in tamarind seeds.

Similarly, Guyanese citizen, Sadeeka Odie, 38, was apprehended around 17:10h after packages of achar with cocaine in the shape of tamarind seeds were also found. She was travelling with her nine year-old daughter.

Both passengers were enroute to New York City on Caribbean Airlines. The seizures of the illegal substance are the first for February.

In January, a Canadian citizen was caught with 9.5 kilogrammes of cocaine while in-transit at CJIA. He flew from Trinidad and Tobago. The drugs were discovered in false walls in his checked luggage.

Meanwhile, the Law Enforcement Agencies must be lauded for these detections which saw the cocaine being cleverly made in the form of tamarind seed and placed in achar.

It is a stark reminder of the lengths at which those involve in the narco-trade would go to move the drugs through our ports.

In the past, drugs were concealed in pepper sauce, star-apple, pumpkin, cabbage, chowmein, ochro, false walls and bottoms of suitcases, shoe soles, wigs among others.

Ministry to heighten its security

2nd January, 2014

KINGSTON - Stringent security measures will go into effect on January 6, 2014 for staff and visitors entering the Works Services Group (WSG) premises [a Ministry of Public Works department] following the brazen robbery committed by two armed men on December 19, 2013.

The duo, under the guise as Ministry’s workers, robbed a Ministry’s Clerk of nearly GUY$8M in the WSG’s compound. Over 100 temporary and low level staff employees were affected.

An emergency meeting was subsequently held whereby several precautionary measures were voted on heightened WSG’s security.

In light of this, several measures will be implemented.

  1. Each employee must wear a badge given by the Ministry when entering the compound. Employees without badges must register their names with the security guard.
  2. The vehicle number plates of all employees and Ministry must be given to the Buildings Division on or before January 2, 2014. Failure to do so will result in vehicles not entering the compound.
  3. No contractors’ vehicles must enter the compound.
  4. There will be random checking of vehicles, as well as, handbags/bags.
  5. Visitors must check with security first where a badge will be given. Details as to which department will be indicated in the security log book.
  6. No vending is authorized in the compound.