Dr Kris Rampersad
An international publication has stated the stage is set in Trinidad and Tobago to have a drug trafficker as political leader of a party, and be elected to the post of Prime Minister in the next five years.
The report also alleged there are businesssmen who are associated with senior public officials linked to political parties who are involved in various front businesses used to cover their illicit drug business.
The report was produced by a France-based organisation that specialises in research on geopolitical drugs. The organisation is partly funded by a group which conducts research that informs drug treaty policies of the United Nations.
Its newsletter, published in March 2002, alleged this country's political system has now been totally subverted and co-opted by various cartels in the country. It identified ethnic-based cartels - defining "cartel" as a word it states is used in Trinidad to describe criminal groups according to their communities of origin.
This, it stated, was in keeping with what it called the Colombian model, as it stated this country's drug-trafficking groups do not produce what they transship.
It identified the supply of illicit drugs across the Gulf of Paria from Venezuela as the weakness of the transshipping organisation and their allies/partners in the political institutions.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration office in Caracas recently estimated that up to 13 metric tons of cocaine a month is transshipped through Venezuela to the Caribbean.
The publication alleged the relative of a politician was said to be involved in the trafficking of cocaine and heroin from Venezuela, via such areas as Guiria, Carupano and Maturin, which it described as staging grounds for illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin to be transshipped through the Caribbean to Europe and the USA.
It also claimed some persons who were associated with the 1995 to 2001 regime was involved in the trade.
The report alleged the businessman relative of a politician is associated with a recent cocaine haul at Guiria harbour by the Venezuelan Guardia Nacional. That haul was to be consigned to a Trinidad cartel after being picked up by the politician's organisation, it stated.
Sunday Guardian checks revealed a haul, believed to be destined for the Caribbean, did take place on the date mentioned, but could not ascertain any Trinidadian link.
The report further stated a politician and his close relative are involved in the illicit drug trade, concentrating on retailing crack cocaine.
It alleged another politician is the minion and serves the interests of prominent members of one of the cartels in various capacities, including against the criminal justice system and money-laundering charges.
It further alleged a functionary has been given a position which allows him and his business partners to further their illicit activities.
The publication claimed there was also an official who served the Venezuelan crime families in Trinidad.
The newsletter further stated the drug-politics connection in Trinidad has weakened the country's political institution, which has been rendered powerless to protect itself from being subverted and co-opted by the illicit drug transshipping cartels. It stated such subversions are aimed at provoking crisis in the functioning and legitimacy of the political institutions.
More on the report
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