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OPPOSITION LEADER CALLS ON CHIEF OF STAFF BRIGADIER MARK PHILLIPS

Chief of Staff Brigadier Mark Phillips, on Wednesday February 12, 2014 received a courtesy call from a delegation of the Parliamentary Opposition, headed by Brigadier (ret’d) David Granger. Other members of the delegation were Members of Parliament Mr Joseph Harmon and Mr Winston Felix.

The  GDF receiving team comprised Deputy Chief of Staff Colonel Khemraj Persaud and other senior staff officers.

Discussions centered on the new dimension of Narco-terrorism and the volume of drugs being shipped through Guyana, and,  to this end , the visiting team highlighted APNU’s concern of the holistic nature of smuggling in Guyana viz , fuel , drugs , gold  and wildlife. They also registered their concern with the involvement of the Italian Mafia having Guyanese connections in cocaine trafficking , and its impact on the security of our senior   government personnel and leaders. The opposition team also relayed its concerns for the absence of an effective Drug Strategy Master Plan and the “inability of the authorities to maintain a viable counter-narcotic scheme.” To this end, it extended an expectation that the Guyana Defence Force would lead the Joint Services in the effort against Narco-Trafficking.

The Opposition delegation also indicated their support for the recapitalisation of the Guyana Defence Force in the acquisition of aviation , maritime and land transport assets to combat narco-trafficking and assured the Force’s leadership of its support of GDF’s budget in the National Assembly

The Chief of Staff re-iterated to the Leader of the Opposition that any new Drug Strategy Master Plan must be covered by the enabling legislation promised by the soon to be enacted Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act. In this regard , the Opposition Leader committed himself to the support of the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act in the House of Assembly.