April 23, 2018 Crime , OTHER

Jenni Konrad photo



Ricardo Swire



Caribbean internal security officials noted suspect transnational underworld activity recently released on social media. The particular video identified two known regional drug traffickers, held hostage by Venezuelan associates in Caracas. Intelligence representatives and Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) counternarcotics detectives collaborated to assess the US$15,000 ransom request for each, for safe release and return of Grenadian “Cobra” and Vincentian “Africano.”


The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and regional law enforcement partners alerted both the Grenadian fisherman from Carriacou and his Vincentian counterpart from Union Island, are on a list of monitored drug traffickers. Cobra’s actual location is uncertain, since he disappeared after police publicly named him a “person of interest.” Regional intelligence reports indicated the wanted man from Soubise has absconded to an underworld “safe house” on neighboring Tobago.


In the recent past several CARICOM RSS member states’ unsolved murders were results of turf wars between rival drug syndicates. Patterns have shown how Venezuelan drug trafficking networks utilize Eastern Caribbean (EC) islands, as key warehouse locations for North American and European consignments. US Drug Enforcement (DEA) 2016 data for the first nine months recorded one hundred and ninety-six point six five metric tons of marijuana, one thousand one hundred and three point eight kilos of cocaine seized. One hundred and fifty-nine drug related arrests occurred.


St Vincent & the Grenadines is categorized the EC’s main source of marijuana. The December 2017 interception of a visiting male British drug courier in Grenada reflected the regional escalation of cocaine trafficking. The airline traveler attempted to smuggle EC$500,000 of cocaine via the Maurice Bishop International Airport. Acting on intelligence briefs RGPF Drug Squad detectives detained the Virgin Atlantic passenger as he was about to board destined for Gatwick Airport, with five kilos of cocaine hidden in his daughter’s suitcase.


The recent Venezuelan drug syndicate kidnapping and US$30,000 ransom demand for CARICOM traffickers Cobra and Africano pattern modern international organized crime norms. Such activity usually the flexing of muscles to send a harsh message about nonpayment and shortfalls. Regional trafficking networks’ sophistication dramatized in one unique Grenada Financial Intelligence Unit scenario. The national monitoring agency launched an official probe after reviewing a financial institution’s Suspicious Activity Report (SAR).


Investigators found a sophisticated five member drug trafficking/money laundering cartel, hidden within the complexity of corporate documentation. FIU agents, working in concert with RGPF officers, executed a search warrant at the registered address and one illegal Jamaican male national who lived at the property was arrested. The detainee aka “Riley” possessed several mobile phones and drug paraphernalia. Additional evidence showed he was top boss of the cocaine export business that shipped exclusively to North America and Europe. RGPF officers additionally confiscated laptop computers, communication devices and financial records.





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.

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