I READ in the Royal Gazette about the illegal drugs that were intercepted in Bermuda over 1994. The story credited the police narcotics division with seizing various quantities of heroin, marijuana and cocaine. But isn't it true that most of that stuff was actually seized by Customs?

You're absolutely right. The story was based on crime statistics released by the police, so we can safely assume that's why Customs didn't get a mention.

It doesn't really matter who stops the drugs from hitting the streets, as long as they are stopped. But then again Customs, so often the butt of people's complaints about being hassled at the airport, should get a slap on the back when they deserve it.

In 1994, the total volume of drugs seized by Customs was higher than in the previous five years. To be more specific, Customs intercepted over a third of a ton of marijuana, more than two-and-a-half-thousand grams of cocaine and -- this in a joint venture with police -- and 371 grams of heroin. Total street value of the haul -- just under $21 million.

Of course, everyone knows that only a small fraction of imported drugs are intercepted, and so it's difficult to know whether the figures are cause for rejoicing or dismay. Notwithstanding, the next time you want to pull you hair out at the airport because your Customs officer seems to be a little over-zealous in checking your stuff, try and envisage the misery that $21m worth of illegal drugs could cause on the streets of Bermuda. 




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