HomeNewsBriefJamaicans Run Trinidad and Tobago Drug Networks: Report
BRIEF

Jamaicans Run Trinidad and Tobago Drug Networks: Report

CARIBBEAN / 11 DEC 2014 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Media in Trinidad and Tobago say they have obtained a secret intelligence report detailing how Jamaicans have set up extensive drug trafficking networks on the islands. However, with the report following on the heels of officials blaming Jamaican immigrants for the country's security problems, the timing of the leak looks suspect.

Newspaper the Trinidad Express and TV station TV6 News reported that they had obtained an intelligence report -- submitted to the government's National Security Council in mid-October -- that describes the involvement of Jamaican criminals in the island's drug trade.

According to the report, the traffickers import Jamaican marijuana into Trinidad and Tobago, then exchange it for cocaine. The cocaine is then smuggled to North America or Europe via direct routes or by way of Jamaica.

The intelligence report also reportedly described how Jamaican criminals have set up their own cells in Trinidad and Tobago because they do not trust local traffickers, who often steal drugs or underpay suppliers. However, it is unclear whether the Jamaicans still source cocaine from local dealers or if they work directly with South American suppliers.

The report also reportedly documented several techniques used by Jamaican traffickers, including paying "mules" to carry the drugs, allegedly bribing port authorities to wave through shipments and even brining in scuba divers to retrieve loads from the sea.

According to the Trinidad Express, the report also included a detailed account of how Jamaicans "intentionally try to mislead" Trinidad and Tobago immigration authorities.  

InSight Crime Analysis

The leak of this intelligence report to Trinidad and Tobago media comes shortly after the island's National Security Minister made controversial comments blaming the country's crime and gang problems on Jamaican immigrants -- timing that may well be more than coincidence.

The document's apparent emphasis on describing immigration issues with little relevance to organized crime -- such as Jamaicans with no reported criminal history overstaying visas, or how illegal Jamaican immigrants work in strip clubs or security -- certainly supports the notion the release of the report is connected to the minister's comments and the ongoing row between the countries over immigration.

However, while there is a danger that the information in the leaked intelligence report will be used to scapegoat immigrants, it does not mean that it's not true. Jamaica is a major marijuana producer and cocaine transit point, and is home to sophisticated and violent criminal structures that have at times operated in foreign countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Given this level of experience, it is certainly possible such groups would look to manage drug trafficking networks on nearby islands.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 1 FEB 2022

In 2021, most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a marked increase in murders. Resurgent violence was to…

CARIBBEAN / 26 JUL 2016

Panama and Guatemala have seen a sizeable increase in drug seizures through the first half of 2016, an indication of…

CARIBBEAN / 28 APR 2011

One of the most powerful traffickers in Puerto Rico, Angel Ayala Vazquez, was reportedly convicted Tuesday on drug trafficking charges,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…