More dents in local drug network to come – outgoing US Ambassador

first_imgWhile positing that a lot more work needs to be done, outgoing United States Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, has lauded efforts by drug enforcement agencies, both local and foreign, for trying to put a dent in the illegal narcotics trade in Guyana.Being positioned on the South American continent with strong ties to the Caribbean region, Guyana has long been identified as a transshipment point for major drug trafficking activities. It was against this backdrop that the US established a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) office here.Ambassador Holloway had played a critical role in the setting up of the DEA office here, which was done in February 2016 – less than five months after his arrival in Guyana.During a recent interview with a group of local journalists ahead of his formal departure on December 9, after serving his three-year tenure, Ambassador Holloway asserted that it was too early to gage the success of the DEA here but noted that more positive results can be expected in the coming years.“… The investigation of narcotics crime and the related crime of money laundering, these investigations take years and not weeks or months. So if you’re going to bring down an organisation or a kingpin type person, you don’t do that in a week or two weeks.”He noted that the DEA has done a great job in Guyana.“They are not Policemen, they are liaison, they are here to share information, develop information, talk to people… Now after three years with the DEA here, we are beginning to develop some stuff. But I think in the next two or three years, you are going to see a lot more positive actions coming from your law enforcement entities and them cooperating with international law enforcement,” the US Diplomat stated.One of those developments the former Ambassador spoke about is the arrest of Guyanese hotelier, Shervington “Big Head” Lovell, who was arrested in Jamaica last month for narcotics trafficking. He was recently extradited to the US where he faced additional charges.According to reports, Lovell, who is the owner of Hotel Tower on Main Street, Georgetown, was arraigned before a Magistrate in a New York Court and pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to violate Maritime Drug Enforcement Law.Following months of investigation and intelligence gathering, the US issued an arrest warrant for the Guyanese businessman in August. However, his detainment was strategic since authorities were monitoring his movements over the past months, which saw him meeting with associates in both Georgetown and Jamaica, as they allegedly planned a cocaine shipment to The Netherlands.Court documents from the US revealed Lovell allegedly sought help on how to launder money from The Netherlands, since he had reportedly done so from the US and Canada. It was the first time Lovell was attempting to pursue such via the European country.Nevertheless, Lovell’s arrest, Ambassador Holloway posited, was as a result of collaboration between the DEA office and local law enforcement agencies such as the Guyana Police Force and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU).“It just so happens he was arrested in Jamaica but there was a lot of reasons for that. He was meeting up with some other guys so it was a way to get everybody in one place at one time. That has been a small success story,” he noted.According to the outgoing US Diplomat, he has not seen any evidence to show that transshipment has gotten worst during the three years he has been in Guyana. However, he pointed out that the fight against this scourge of narco-trafficking has not ended.“It is illegal so they don’t tell you how much is shipping through or not shipping through… [But] there is still drugs shipping through Guyana, there is drugs shipping through every country in South America. So Guyana is not alone in being a transshipment point,” he said.Holloway went on to note that local authorities are working hard in trying to do whatever they can with the limited resources they have. Against this backdrop, he posited that more needs to be done to curb narco-trafficking activities, especially those that use the country as a transshipment point.“Guyana is so large and so under populated. I mean, there are so many places you can [go] in and out if you have the money and resources. And these guys are well funded and they don’t have to play by the rules. I think, my gut feeling is that things have gotten a little better as far as the big, big shipments going through Guyana,” the US Diplomat stated.Asked by Guyana Times whether the DEA Office has been able to tap into the drug network that it suspected was here, the outgoing Ambassador explained that while they knew of certain individuals and organisations operating in Guyana, this is hard to prove.“[But] by coming here, we gathered a lot more information on those organisations and individuals. We have been working closely and can actually share information that we have with the Police and CANU. I think the next three years you are going to see a little bit of an acceleration of activity. Not because people were not working hard, but eventually this information reached a point where all of a sudden, it can be tied together and something can be done,” Ambassador Holloway stated. (Vahnu Manikchand)last_img read more

2007 a record year for UC applicants

first_imgAt UC-Berkeley – where the class size grew slightly but the number of applications grew more – 79.8 percent were rejected, up slightly from 79.3percent in 2006. Almost two-thirds of applicants with a 4.0 grade-point average or above were turned away. UC Davis admitted 58.7 percent of applicants, down from 68 percent last year. The competition surprised thousands of applicants. “I would have loved to go to Berkeley … I thought I might have a chance,” said Clare Richardson, 17, of Palo Alto, who instead is headed east to New York University. UC admissions officers increased offers to African-American and Latino students by at least 10percent. Historically underrepresented students – blacks, American Indians and Latinos – make up nearly 23 percent of fall 2007 admissions, up from 21.7 percent for fall 2006. This was the first year that UCLA used a so-called “holistic approach” for reviewing applications, which reviews a student’s achievement in the context of his or her high school. The more individualized approach is designed to value the high- achieving student from Compton as much as the one from Cupertino. The bad news for applicants in general was not just at UC schools. But with more and more students filling out ever more applications, schools like Caltech received a record number of applications this year – 3,595, or 8 percent more than last year – and admitted 576 students. Among so many talented applicants, a prospective student with perfect SAT scores was “not unusual,” said Jill Perry, a Caltech spokeswoman. “The successful students have to have shown some passion for science and technology in high school or their personal life,” Perry said. “That means creating a computer system for your high school, or taking a tractor apart and putting it back together.” Stanford University, faced with a record number of applicants, could have filled its incoming class four times over with applicants who achieved grade-point averages of 4.0 or greater, according to admissions director Richard H. Shaw. Santa Clara University turned away 41 percent of applicants, up from 34 percent last year. And the school’s accepted students had stronger academic records than last year. “The quality of the overall pool of applicants grew this year,” said Sandra Hayes, vice provost for enrollment management at Santa Clara. “Our wait list of 2,000 is the largest ever.” Admissions officers at all of the nation’s top colleges say that applicants are facing the biggest squeeze since their grandparents climbed into telephone booths. At the Ivy Leagues, acceptance rates are the lowest in history. Harvard admitted only 9 percent of its record 22,955 applications. Princeton had the second-lowest acceptance rate at 9.6 percent. On California campuses, there was good news for African Americans and Latinos, whose numbers on campus had slid in recent years. More than one-third, or 38percent, of UC’s admitted freshmen are from families where neither parent has a four-year degree. About 35 percent come from low-income families, earning less than $40,000 a year. Nearly a fifth come from high schools in the lowest 40 percent of California schools, as ranked by the Academic Performance Index score. Overall, the academic quality of the incoming freshman continues to be outstanding, Susan Wilbur, UC’s director of undergraduate admissions, said Thursday. The average accepted student has taken 23 yearlong college prep classes, earned a 3.79 grade point average and scored 590 out of 800 points on both the verbal and math sections of the SAT. UC Berkeley’s admitted class includes a student who danced with a ballet academy in Salzburg, Austria; several nationally ranked debaters; a member of the U.S. Junior Olympic Water Polo team; a nationally ranked chess player; and several members of a high school team that won the first place in the American Computer Science League All-Star Contest. The New York Times contributed to this story. [email protected] (650) 688-7565 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The University of California’s top campuses this spring rejected a record number of applicants, reflecting a nationwide trend that made 2007 the most competitive year ever for students seeking slots at elite universities. Admissions officers say the reason for the cutthroat competition is simple: There are more smart kids than available seats because of the bumper crop of “Echo Boomers,” the children of baby boomers. Nationwide, more than 3.2 million students will graduate from high school this June, the largest number since the 1970s, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. UCLA accepted a meager 20.6 percent of applicants, down from 22.2 percent last year. last_img read more

Marine Harvest Ireland agrees €2.5million deal with Connemara firm

first_imgMarine Harvest Ireland (MHI), the country’s leading organic salmon producer with its headquarters in Donegal, has signed a deal worth €2.5million for a business venture to grow organic salmon on sites in Bertraghboy Bay in Galway.The five year agreement with Mannin Bay Salmon Company Ltd will see collaboration on the production of three crops of salmon meaning continuity of supply for its processing operations in Rinmore, Fanad.MHI will supply new pens, marine vessels and related infrastructure in addition to management and technical support. Capital investment amounts to €2.5million with operating costs to be shared between both companies.Pat Connors, Sales and Processing Director at MHI said: “Marine Harvest Ireland is enthusiastic about working with local partners and suppliers where possible. This is a very significant announcement in that it represents a new supply line for our global export business. As a result of this partnership, we will have an even greater resource across a number of crucial areas of the business including an experienced management team, heavy-duty equipment and modern technology.”Gerard O’Donohoe of Mannin Bay Salmon Company said the deal is vital for continuity of supply to our markets all year round.He said “90% of our produce is exported to markets in the USA, Canada, Dubai, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and France. We are delighted to be partnering with a company of the profile and expertise of Marine Harvest and believe that this venture will be very positive for the local economy.” MHI previously produced fish in Kilkieran Bay in a partnership with Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta. In Ireland alone, MHI contributes over €15million to the domestic economy annually with some 800 Irish suppliers presently doing business with the company here. The company has approved an £80million investment for Scotland. More significantly, it has a €22million investment earmarked for Ireland over the next five years, subject to new licences and renewals.MHI is a subsidiary of the Marine Harvest ASA headquartered in Norway, it is a global-force in aquaculture with 12,500 employees operating across 24 countries worldwide and servicing 70 markets across the globe.The company has operated successfully in Ireland for 38 years to employing over 260 people between its salmon farms and hatcheries in Donegal, Mayo and Bantry.Mannin Bay Salmon Company currently employs 25 people along with five-part time staff. This announcement will underpin and sustain those jobs with additional personnel from MHI being deployed on-site. The company has been farming salmon in Connemara since the early 1980s. They have operated specifically in Bertraghboy Bay since 2008. Its stock is currently processed at Kilkieran Salmon.Marine Harvest Ireland agrees €2.5million deal with Connemara firm was last modified: April 11th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more