…“largest in a long time”The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) has reported that billions of dollars’ worth of marijuana and cocaine was destroyed during last year’s eradication exercise throughout the country. This is according to Head of CANU, Michael Atherly, who in an interview with Guyana Times said over 300 persons were convicted for various drug crimes during 2018.“During last year we had a very huge eradication exercise throughout the country. Berbice, however, has seen the largest confiscation of marijuana. There were millions of dollars’ worth of cannabis which included farms and dried cannabis being destroyed during that period. This was recorded as the largest during recent years,” Atherly said.Statistics from the Guyana Drug Information Network (GUYDIN) – an inter-agency body comprising of law enforcement agencies – revealed that during 2018 (as of November), a combined total of 477 kilograms of cocaine and 994 kilograms of cannabis was destroyed at Yarrowkabra, Linden/Soesdyke Highway by representatives from CANU, the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA) and the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL).It further outlined that a total of 132 kilograms of cocaine and 440 kilograms of cannabis were destroyed by the Police, while 45 kilograms of cocaine and 554 kilograms of cannabis were also destroyed by CANU in other areas. A combined street value of the narcotics amounted to $513,310,940.The drugs were reportedly tested by staff of the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory before being destroyed by way of fire.Meanwhile, the 2017 report highlighted that law enforcement agencies seized a total of 55,139 kilograms of narcotics which included substances such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy and have eradicated over 117,000 kilograms of marijuana plants.Further, the executive summary of the GUYDIN report noted that there were 124 drug seizures during that period.Of these, the narcotics branch of the Guyana Police Force made 72 per cent of the seizures , while CANU made 28 per cent.The report stated that marijuana plants were eradicated from 34 acres of land, spanning 20 fields over 15 operations. Some 204,400 plants were eradicated, the report added, and a “total of 117,531.67 kilograms of marijuana taken off the market.