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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 02:31 GMT 03:31 UK
Jamaica to tackle UK drug mules
Kingston, Jamaica
Jamaican drug couriers will face tighter checks
Drugs smugglers bound for the UK are set to face tighter security in Jamaica before they board flights.

Jamaica has agreed a plan to halt the drug mules using a route estimated to account for half the crack cocaine in Britain.

Britain's Customs Minister Paul Boateng will announce details of a three-pronged attack on the cocaine trade on Wednesday.

Police in Jamaica will use scanning equipment to detect drugs swallowed by the couriers.

UK Customs officers have given technical assistance to help them detect traffickers who swallow the drug to get it through checks.

The new system will start next month.

Violent crime

The Home Office minister responsible for drugs and serious crime, Bob Ainsworth, said last month that plans were being considered to post Jamaican police officers at British airports to assist the operation.

Earlier this year, reports suggested that one in 10 passengers flying to London from the Jamaican capital, Kingston, was carrying drugs.

Phil Sinkinson, deputy high commissioner in Jamaica, said as much as 30kg (66lb) of cocaine was being smuggled on every flight.

The proliferation of the trade has been blamed for a series of violent crimes and shootings in Britain.

See also:

12 Mar 02 | Americas
03 Jan 02 | Americas
02 Jan 02 | Country profiles
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