Report: Jamaica a major transit point for illicit drugs

Four Caribbean countries (CARICOM) have been named by the United States as major illicit drug-production countries.

The Bahamas, Belize, Haiti and Jamaica were named as major drug-transit countries in the U.S. 2018 Narcotics Control Strategy Report.

According the report, a major illicit drug-producing country is one in which 1,000 hectares or more of illicit opium is cultivated or harvested during a year; or 5,000 hectares or more of illicit cannabis is cultivated or harvested during a year.

The report notes that Jamaica remains the largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the United States and the Caribbean islands.

It states, “although cocaine and synthetic drugs are not produced locally, Jamaica is a transit point for drugs trafficked from South America to North America and other international markets.”

The report went on to indicate that drugs flow from and through Jamaica by maritime conveyance, air freight, human trafficking and private aircraft.

Jamaica is a transit point for cocaine moving from Central America to the United States, and some drug trafficking organizations exchange marijuana for cocaine.

The report notes that while government and law enforcement authorities are committed to combating narcotics and illicit trafficking, “their efforts were only moderately effective in 2016 because of insufficient resources, corruption and inefficient criminal justice system and the inability of lawmakers to adopt meaningful legislation to combat corruption.”

The United States government also named Belize as the lone CARICOM country identified as a major source or precursor of essential chemicals used in the production of illicit drugs.