(Koror, Palau) The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) joined forces with Belau Drug Enforcement Taskforce to combat the illegal drug trade in Palau.
U.S. DEA Agent will be working closely with BDEFT and other law enforcements to conduct training aimed at expanding their capacity and strengthening the efforts to combat illegal drug trafficking. [restrict]
U.S. Ambassador Amy Hyatt responding to President Remengesau’s request advised that a DEA Special Agent Kirk Williamson was dispatched to Palau in December 2016..
agent is providing support to the Palau Drug Enforcement Task Force in widening intelligence base and strengthening efforts with guidance on combating illegal drug trafficking.
“Special Agent Williamson’s visit is the start of a working relationship with the DEA that will include training, exchange of intelligence, the utilization of investigative tools, as well as building the Task force’s network with agents in the U.S., Saipan and Manila offices to coordinate in multi jurisdictional drug investigations.” Says Palau Task Force Leader, Ismael Aguon.
According to the Task Force, with DEA assistance it aims to take drug investigations to the sources beyond Palau in order to shut down sources of the drug trade to Palau.
“I share your desire to address these challenging problems and am heartened that law enforcement officials from our two countries have forged closer ties as result of this visit,” stated U.S. Ambassador Amy J. Hyatt in her response to President Remengesau.
Belau Drug EnforcementTask Force reported that it has seized 645.61 grams or 1.43 pounds of ICE, and conducted over a hundred undercover operations since they began in November of 2015. Other results of their operations include:
- Initiation of 91 active investigations
• Forwarding 51 drug cases for prosecution
• Charged about 61 persons with drug crime violations including 5 drug bosses
• Submitted 65 methamphetamine samples for lab analysis
• Seized 2,457.99 grams (5.5 lbs) of marijuana
• Seized seven (7) illegal firearms
• Seized $55,460 as proceeds of crime
• Conducted six shakedowns at the Division of Corrections
• Caused the revocation of two inmates 6 am to 6 pm work privileges
• Frequented drug corners and eliminated drug traffickers from operating in public places
• Provided mediation to families affected by methamphetamine
• Referred individuals to Behavioral Health for counseling
• Provided information and evidence leading to cases filed by the Special Prosecutor
• Provided information and evidence to Criminal Investigations Division assisting in solving felony cases [/restrict]