Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Gov’t more robust and targetted in tackling illicit gun and drug trade

Published:Friday | September 22, 2023 | 12:06 AM
Dr Horace Chang, deputy prime minister and minister of national security.
Dr Horace Chang, deputy prime minister and minister of national security.

The government is taking a more robust and targetted approach to tackling the trade in illegal firearms and drugs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang says there is a critical link between the illicit trades, which are being orchestrated by transnational criminal networks that operate seamlessly across borders.

He said the government recognises that the illicit trade undermines the safety and security of the nation and has been working to dismantle the criminal networks.

“This is reflected in the most recent Firearms (Prohibition, Restriction and Regulation) Act, 2022; major amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act, 2019; and the expanded focus of the Jamaica Customs Agency in securing our borders,” Dr. Chang pointed out.

He was addressing Tuesday’s September 19 opening of the 37th International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.

Dr. Chang said the IDEC provides a vital platform for fostering cooperation among law-enforcement officials from around the world.

It offers an opportunity to enhance collaboration and jointly address illicit drug trafficking, which fuels the expansion of transnational criminal organisations.

“I am confident that the connections and the decisions taken throughout this conference may be in the best interest of our separate, but connected interests and begin to lay a stronger foundation to combat transnational criminal organisations that threaten all countries,” Dr. Chang said.

The IDEC was held from September 19 to 21 under the theme ‘Disrupting Transnational Criminal Organisations and their Supply Chains’.

More than 900 delegates representing 139 countries were in attendance to discuss and collaborate on issues related to drug enforcement and the global drug trade.