News Article - July 04, 2008


Wednesday, 02 July 2008   Cocaine in food trays on Air Jamaica plane. The national carrier Air Jamaica, which has been struggling to stay in the sky, is facing more problems on Wednesday afternoon. According to reports coming out of the United States, Customs Department agents announced that they intercepted a stash of cocaine and marijuana weighing nine pounds in total hidden aboard an Air Jamaica airliner in Philadelphia. The drugs were found hidden in a food cart of the Air Jamaica flight from Kingston that arrived in Philadelphia Sunday night.

   The Philadelphia Inquirer said Customs agents pegged the value of the seizure at about US$44,000 or J$3.2 million. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Philadelphia International Airport say the cocaine and marijuana were found in eight packages stowed aboard an Air Jamaica flight Sunday after an alert crew member notified CBP officers of the suspicious packages. No arrests have been made.

   Allan Martocci, CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Philadelphia applauded the Air Jamaica crew for reporting these suspicious packages to CBP officers. The news comes one day after RJR News reported that the Narcotics Police have had their hands full trying to plug the security leaks at the Norman Manley International Airport. Head of the Narcotics police, Senior Superintendent Carlton Wilson disclosed that his team has observed a resurgence in the trafficking of cocaine through Kingston's airport. He said some airport workers are now working with drug traffickers to smuggle illicit drugs onto aircraft.

   SSP Wilson says the workers are using the cover of the multi-million dollar airport construction to sneak drugs onto flights leaving the country. More than 60 pounds of ganja was seized recently in bathrooms at the Norman Manley Airport.

Source - Radio Jamaica