Venezuela Joins Haiti And US As Region’s Major Illegal Guns Supplier

Economic crises in Venezuela may propel that country to the position of one of the Caribbean’s largest supplier of illegal guns and ammunition, along with Haiti and the United States of America, says Anthony Clayton, professor of Caribbean sustainable development at the Univer-sity of the West Indies.

“It is not just the (illegal gun) trade with Haiti or the import of weapons from the United States. There is going to be a third major source of supply into the Caribbean region and that is Venezuela,” Clayton told The Gleaner yesterday.

Clayton said that Venezuela has more guns per person than any country in the Western Hemisphere, a deliberate move by former President Hugo Ch·vez.

Now that the economy is suffering immensely, those arms are being sold rapidly to facilitate basic survival.

“The problem we are facing is, because with Venezuela’s economic collapse, there is now evidence of weapons flooding out of Venezuela, initially into Trinidad, but which will come percolating through the Caribbean. Venezuela has got more guns per person than almost any other country in the (western) hemisphere, including the United States.”

“This is partly due to former President Ch·vez’s policy of arming the militias. Now, with the economy collapsing, a lot of them are selling their weapons and they are selling them for groceries, pharmaceuticals and basic survival items,” Clayton said.

Celebrating International Customs Day 2017

This year International Customs Day is celebrated on January 26th 2017 under the theme “Data Analysis for Effective Border Management’.  The theme is very appropriate given the current climate as it relates to border security. In most jurisdictions around the globe, Customs is recognized as the key law enforcement agency involved in border protection and…

Cannabis DNA database being developed

A genetic science project which aims to sequence the DNA of every strain of marijuana in the world could also benefit police forces across the globe, making it easier to identify both national and international smuggling networks.

The database could enable law enforcement agencies to track the source of shipments and provide a direct link between importers and lower-level sellers.

Pylos Bioscience, based in Portland, Oregon, was founded in 2015 by microbiologist Mowgli Holmes to bring more consistency to the recreational marijuana and medical marijuana business. The drug is currently legal in eight states for recreational use and available for medical use in a further 21 states.

Phylos has 17 full-time employees and has put together a collection of cannabis strains that includes rare, ancient, specimens from museums and herbariums in Thailand, Colombia, and a dozen other countries including the UK. Marijuana breeders and private collectors from around the world have also contributed samples from their personal stashes.

New border control unit to improve efficiency – Saint Lucia


The Customs and Immigration departments along with the Marine Unit will soon form a new entity, the Border Control Unit.

The Border Control Unit will significantly augment the operations of Saint Lucia’s airports and seaports, Minister for Home Affairs, Justice and National Security, Sen. Hon. Hermangild Francis said.

All officers assigned to the unit will receive training.

“Two senior officers—one, a former comptroller of Customs and the other, a senior immigration officer—are tasked with making the recommendations,” Sen. Francis said. “As a tourist destination, we must make the transitions from the airplane or ship to the waiting bus a much quicker process.”

The Border Control Unit is expected to be launched in 2017.