Police thank French for help with narco-trafficking fight

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Police thank French for help with narco-trafficking fight
Police Commissioner Vernon Francois
Police Commissioner Vernon Francois

The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force has extended gratitude to the French government for its partnership in the fight against narco-trafficking.

Last Friday, CIFAD, a traditional training partner based in Martinique, concluded a training workshop for officers.

Course participants are now certified in the area of ‘Boarding and Searching of Vessels’.

Lead Facilitator François Blin said this skill is vital in the fight against the smuggling and distribution of illegal drugs in the region. He noted many similarities in the challenges confronting both Martinique and Saint Lucia in policing the borders of these islands.

“Yes we have lots of problems concerning the drugs at sea because each island is so close that the traffickers can go quickly from one to another, and so we have to fight together. We can’t do it alone and we have to put in function a network, and the network passes through people who are involved in this who are the officers in France, in Martinique and in St Lucia of course,” he said.

Meantime, Police Commissioner Vernon Francois said the police is consistently cracking down on trafficking activities involving Saint Lucia, Martinique and St Vincent.

“What we have realised in Saint Lucia is some sort of a triangular trade where you find household items are being stolen off Saint Lucia, transported via canoe to St Vincent where it is exchanged for drugs (marijuana). This is taken to Martinique where there is more often than not an exchange for firearms, because as you are aware, Martinique is part of the European Union so there is this free movement. So it is generally easier for the firearms to come in through Martinique and so the drugs come into Saint Lucia,” he said,

Francois said as a result, the Government of Saint Lucia, particularly through its law enforcement arm, has continued to work closely with neighbouring authorities to ensure individuals involved in such activities are caught and brought to justice.

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