Montserrat Police make significant drug seizures, several arrests made
The Royal Montserrat Police Service (RMPS) have been very active these past few weeks with some significant anti-smuggling drug operations and border security initiatives.
The police reported that: “on Thursday January 24th the RMPS Marine Department intercepted a Dominican registered fishing vessel believed to be involved in suspicious activity. Four persons of international origin were apprehended under the authority of the Immigration Act. What followed was an extensive joint RMPS Criminal Investigation Department, RMPS Marine Department, RMPS Financial Crimes Unit, and Customs & Revenue Service (MCRS) coordinated enforcement action – including a ground and sea search of the shoreline south of the Volcano in Exclusion Zone V, plus Foxes Bay, Old Road Bay, and Isles Bay. Officers from the RMPS worked tirelessly day and night for several days.
“On January 30th, the RMPS completed the operation insertion into the exclusion zone resulting in the recovery of two separate burial sites, which yielded the seizure of approximately 65 kilos of cocaine, having an approximate street value of over three million dollars. The suspected narcotics are being transferred out of Montserrat immediately for safe storage and forensic examination. The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) arrived on island last week to assist with the post-investigation logistics and international intelligence coordination. Security at the Police Headquarters has been heightened in light of this. Charged with the drug possession and importation are: Derrick Nicholas, Elroy Gussie, Ackmel St. Jean of Dominica, and Juan Vasquez of Venezuela. The accused appeared in Court on Friday February 1st.”
- There were two other unrelated incidents involving marine vessels:
“On February 1st, in the late evening, the RMPS responded to a vessel that had run aground near Bottomless Ghaut. Three people from Antigua were held in custody under the authority of the Immigration Act. Although the circumstances of the vessel’s arrival to Montserrat appeared suspicious, they were not found to have contravened any laws. Arrangements are being made to assist with their departure to Antigua.
“On February 2nd, in the early morning, the RMPS received a report of a vessel in distress approximately four miles off the coast of Montserrat. Although the Police Vessel Shamrock responded, other vessels arrived to assist. The vessel in distress named “God” was towed to Port due to engine failure.”