A larger volume of drugs were seized during the first five months of this year than the same period in 2016, despite the fact that methods of concealment have become more sophisticated in order to evade Cuba’s border controls, reported officials from the General Customs of the Republic (AGR), June 21.
“The AGR confiscated 30.22 kilograms of drugs in 2016, while it seized 32.59kg between January and May of 2017,” stated Moraima Rodríguez Nuviola, deputy director of Enforcement at the AGR, during a meeting held at the institution’s headquarters in Havana.
“Drugs have mainly been detected via air, on passengers who put them in food, carry them on their bodies, ingest them, or put them inside home appliances,” she added.
Given that some countries are legalizing certain drugs - such as marijuana - many travelers attempt to enter the island with small quantities meant for personal consumption. “They think this makes it OK for them to bring it into Cuba, but it’s not. Here they are issued with a warning and a fine,” explained Moraima Rodríguez.
As such, it is important that visitors are informed of, and familiar with, existing regulations in Cuba, “because we not only work to enforce, but also to prevent,” stated Pedro Miguel Pérez Betancourt, head of the General Customs of the Republic.
According to William Pérez González, deputy director of the AGR, the increase in drug policy enforcement measures, “is not related to the increase in visitors in 2017, which stands at 2.4 million so far this year. Our geographical characteristics – being an island located in the region of South and North America – facilitates those attempting to bring illicit substances into the country.”
For Nelson Cordovés Reyes, first deputy director of the AGR, the entry and exit of arms, their parts, and munitions is another trend that, along with drugs, is on the rise. Revolvers, pistols, projectiles, grenades, knuckle dusters, and nerve gas, are among various weapons that have been detected.
Meanwhile, more subversive materials, in a range of formats, aimed at promoting a counter-revolution, have also been intercepted, including “CDs, books and objects to receive signals from Radio and TV Martí,” he noted.
However, AGR officials stated that the General Customs of the Republic of Cuba is continuing to work hard to effectively combat the negative impact of these phenomena
About the Author
Órgano oficial del Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba.