Guyana, US to activate Shiprider agreement for air; maritime anti-drugs fight

Guyana and the United States (US) would be activating a 19-year old Shiprider Agreement that would allow the two countries to interdict drug traffickers, the US State Department said ahead of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit.

“Following the Secretary’s visit, a bilateral Shiprider Agreement will come into force, enabling joint maritime and airspace patrols to interdict narcotics,” according to a fact sheet issued by Mr. Pompeo’s office.     

The State Department said the coming into force of the agreement  joins recent donations of US$200,000 in equipment and interceptor boat parts to strengthen Guyana‘s ability to patrol its territorial waters.

Under the Shiprider Agreement, Guyana may designate qualified law enforcement officials to act as law enforcement shipriders. In keeping with Guyanese law, these shipriders may embark on US law enforcement vessels and authorise the pursuit by the US law enforcement vessels on which  they are embarked, of suspect vessels and aircraft fleeing into or over Guyanese territory and waters.

Several Caribbean countries have in force similar agreements.

Announcement that the Shiprider Agreement would come into force came less than one week after Guyanese authorities found a crashed Beechcraft plane in Issano, Region 7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) with more than 300 kilogrammes of cocaine. A Cessna 206 plane was found in the same area with a Brazilian and two Venezuelans who told investigators they were supposedly heading to Suriname.

Over the past 10 years, at least two semi-submersible vessels, which are used for the trans-Atlantic movement of large amounts of cocaine,  had been found in north-western Guyana.

The US regards Guyana as a major  transshipment point for South American cocaine to the Caribbean, North America and even Africa.

The State Department notes that over the years, the US has helped to train Guyana’s Port Control Unit to deter the trafficking of cocaine and other illicit goods through Guyana.

The United States Coast Guard provides training and mentoring to the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) in order to improve port security. And the United States military provides training of Guyana Defense Forces personnel every year, which includes a current student at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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  • Georgy Porgy  On 09/18/2020 at 11:12 am

    I’m at a loss as to why this Shipriders Agreement was not reactivated during the Roger Khan drug era when drugs were running rampant in Guyana? How did the government of the day think the drugs were getting into the country or did they just turn a blind eye to what was happening as it was in their best interest to do so?

    • brandli62  On 09/19/2020 at 10:45 am

      I could not agree more! According to press reports, the Shiprider Agreement was signed 19 years ago. Hence, in 2001 when Guyana was governed by a PPP administration. I believe that activation of the agreement was not in the interest of the ruling party at that time….. In German, you would say “Ein Schelm, wer Böses dabei denkt” or May he be shamed who thinks badly of it.

  • Kman  On 09/18/2020 at 12:27 pm

    The US should worry about the drug users in their country. They are the world biggest users of drugs, both legal and illegal.

    Once there is quick and easy way to make lots of money, drug suppliers will find a way.
    The CIA was a drug pusher and maybe still is.

    This is a huge money maker for players in the USA, and once there is a demand, there will be a supply.

    • William  On 09/19/2020 at 12:04 am

      Kman no one is denying that America is dealing with a big drug problem in its country and are hoping to stem the flow of these drugs by way of this Shipriders Agreement. The question I put to you is…how do you think the drugs are getting into America??? The supply has to come from somewhere right?

  • Georgy Porgy  On 09/19/2020 at 12:05 am

    Ask Roger Khan. He knows the ins and outs of the drug trade.

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