Chinese detained after meth lab discovery

PORT OF SPAIN – Police say they have detained a Chinese national after discovering the first methamphetamine laboratory in Trinidad and Tobago.

A police statement said that the laboratory, which was located in San Fernando, south of here, was dismantled by officers of the Special Branch following an extensive intelligence-led operation spearheaded and through close partnership with United States (US) law enforcement agencies.

It said that a search warrant executed at an upscale residential area last Thursday “resulted in the discovery of components assembled in the form of a clandestine laboratory.

“Officers also discovered a quantity of cash, precursor chemicals and packets of crystals of various sizes resembling that of methamphetamine. One national of the People’s Republic of China was arrested in connection with the laboratory and the drugs seized,” the police statement said.

It said that Investigations are ongoing into the matter and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) remains undaunted in its commitment to the safety of citizens, urging members of the public to continue partnering with officers to combat criminal activities in their communities.

The statement quoted Police Commissioner Erla Christopher as sending “a clear warning to international, regional and local criminal groups, that the TTPS stands firm and resolute in its mandate to stamp out the scourge of illicit synthetic drugs which do great harm to our society”.

Meanwhile, the head of the University of the West Indies (UWI) criminology department, Dr Randy Seepersad, says he is not surprised by the discovery of a methamphetamine (meth) lab here.

Seepersad told Guardian Media that the discovery points to a new kind of drug on the market which could have deleterious effects on the population related to violence and crime, adding that it can put a strain on the health care system and shatter families.

“There could always be more. If somebody has the technology to do it and the know-how, chances are they could have disseminated that information to others. But it’s a very, very difficult thing to detect.

“It is very, very troubling because it means that if somebody is manufacturing it, it will get out there into the environment, youths will start to use it, some people may even become addicted to it and that’s where the danger comes in,” Seepersad said.

The criminologist further urged parents to be frank with their children about the dangers of drug use or risk losing them to addiction. This, as he acknowledged that some drugs cause an almost immediate addiction as the high fades quickly, leading users to take repeated doses.

“We have to talk to our children, tell them about drugs, educate them, don’t hide it. Talk to them about peer pressure and let them know that one try, as tempting as it might be, that one try sometimes is all it takes to pull you down a path,” he told Guardian Media. (CMC)

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