Inter-Regional Trafficking Networks

February 13, 2018 Crime , North America , OTHER

ONDCP photo



Ricardo Swire



Reorganized intelligence analysis on regional trafficking patterns showed how Caribbean air-routes are still vulnerable and monopolized by transnational criminal organizations. Substantial financial profits are generated from successful drug trafficking activity conducted by local professional third parties. On Friday February 2, 2018, acting on intelligence, Antiguan Office of National Drug & Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) agents intercepted a departing “high-value” cocaine shipment on Runway 10 at VC Bird International Airport.


A private jet transported the one hundred and five pounds of cocaine worth US$629,634. ONDCP Agents also found the Antiguan male thirty-one year old Chief Pilot employed to Caribbean Helicopters Limited (CHL) aboard. The Antigua based helicopter business, where the resident of Paynters St George works, flies to neighbouring Anguilla, Montserrat and St Kitts & Nevis. The CHL Chief Pilot was arrested and charged with cocaine possession and exportation. Two foreign pilots travelling on the chartered aircraft were detained but later released.


General trafficking patterns reveal that after escalation of the 2012 Latin America/Central America drug war and tightened internal security mechanisms Caribbean islands, especially Antigua & Barbuda, became targets for transnational cartels. Traffickers spent the past five years developing alternative routes. Today heavy weight cocaine shipments depart Latin America, via southern Caribbean islands, onward to Antigua & Barbuda and northern Caribbean territories. From warehousing facilities the drug shipments go to Canada, America, United Kingdom (UK) and Europe.


On October 6, 2012, utilizing the “Secure Seas Program,” America gave Antigua & Barbuda law enforcers two high-tech interceptor ships, worth US$2 million, to help attack maritime trafficking. In April 2016 ONDCP agents detained two Vincentian traffickers at Shell Beach on Antigua north coast. The seventy year old and thirty-seven year old men transported EC$1, 263,288 worth of drugs. Five point six kilos of cocaine was worth EC$197,288. Five hundred and thirty-three pounds of compressed marijuana valued EC$1,066,000.  Transnational traffickers’ powerful tentacles constantly squeeze the integrity of Caribbean law enforcers and national security guardians.


Internal security data chronicled two former Royal Antigua & Barbuda Police Force officers whose cameos were drug traffickers. The Barbadian and Vincentian born duo, residents on Antigua for more than twenty years, accumulated assets and owned Antiguan passports. After two years of surveillance and investigation both were charged with conspiracy, possession with intent to transfer and supply thirty-five kilos of cocaine valued EC$1.2 million. The drugs initially found at a house in Cedar Valley St John’s, the crime scene where “DJ Bullet” and another male national were murdered. The two ex-policemen acted as joint custodians of the Cedar Valley residence.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.