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Three held, 8,000 pounds contraband dasheen seized

Monday, February 12, 2018

Police intercepted a shipload of contraband dasheen and a small quantity of marijuana during an exercise on Saturday afternoon which resulted in the arrests of two Venezuelans and a Guyanese man.

The trio, a Venezuelan father and son as well as their business partner, spent the night in jail and are expected to face a series of charges. They were also handed over to the Immigration Department for further interrogation.

It is uncertain what will be done with the dasheen which amounted to over 8,000 pounds.

Investigators said around 4 pm Cpl Roopnarine and PC Charles of the Moruga police were on patrol at Lanse Mitan when they seized the contraband. The three men were taken to the Moruga Police Station and interrogated.

The seizure was highlighted yesterday by Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat who commended the police for their quick action.

Rambharat wrote on social media: “Thanks to the police and other law enforcement officers in the Moruga area for their work in intercepting this illegal shipment of approximately 8,000 pounds of dasheen from Venezuela and arresting two persons.”

Scores of people in responding to the post said they found it laughable that the police would seize contraband food but not the drugs and guns which came frequently through T&T’s porous borders.

Sheldon Nunu wrote: “It’s a bit ironic that police and other law enforcement can stop the Dasheen Trade but not the Guns and Drugs Trade allegedly emanating from the same location.”

Carol Black-Gold added, “You took the words out of my mouth. Intercepting food, but allowing guns and drugs!!!”

Rambharat in response wrote: “Illegal dasheen may not be a problem for many people. For dasheen farmers in Navet and other parts of the country, it affects their livelihood.

Police said the trio will appear before a Princes Town Magistrate this week to answer the charges.


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