MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica — The Government says it is taking a more robust and targeted approach to tackling the trade of illegal firearms and drugs.
In a release on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, said there is a critical link between the illicit trades, which are being orchestrated by transnational criminal networks that operate seamlessly across borders.
He said the Government recognises that the illicit trade undermines the safety and security of the nation and has been working to dismantle the criminal networks.
“This is reflected in the most recent Firearms (Prohibition, Restriction and Regulation) Act, 2022; major amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act, 2019; and the expanded focus of the Jamaica Customs Agency in securing our borders,” Chang pointed out.
The minister was addressing Tuesday’s opening of the 37th International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC), which is being held over three days at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.
Chang said the IDEC provides a vital platform for fostering cooperation among law-enforcement officials from around the world.
It offers an opportunity to enhance collaboration and jointly address illicit drug trafficking, which fuels the expansion of transnational criminal organisations.
“I am confident that the connections and the decisions taken throughout this conference may be in the best interest of our separate but connected interests and begin to lay a stronger foundation to combat transnational criminal organisations that threaten all countries,” he said.
The IDEC is being held from September 19 to 21 under the theme ‘Disrupting Transnational Criminal Organizations and their Supply Chains’.
More than 900 delegates representing 139 countries are in attendance to discuss and collaborate on issues related to drug enforcement and the global drug trade.