An investigation has been launched by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) in the aftermath of the seizure of a large quantity of marijuana in the southern parish of St. Elizabeth earlier this week, in which members of the JDF were held.
During a press conference on Thursday, the JDF revealed that four of its members are now being questioned.
According to reports, at about 9 p.m. (local time) on Tuesday, acting on information, a police team and members of the JCF’s narcotics unit intercepted a JDF vehicle and ordered the driver, a soldier in uniform, to stop.
But instead of complying, the driver and his colleague soldier passenger sped away.
During a chase, the police were reportedly fired, and the fire was returned.
When the chase finally ended, the two soldiers reportedly alighted from the vehicle, and more shots were fired.
A stand-off ensued, with the soldiers refusing to surrender.
The police sought assistance from the JDF. A unit with senior soldiers went to the location and ordered the two soldiers to surrender; their weapons were also confiscated and handed over to the police.
A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up 1,500 pounds of compressed marijuana.
The two soldiers, who are reportedly assigned to the Paradise Park Operating Base in Westmoreland’s western parish, are believed to have been employed by smugglers to take the drug to an unidentified location in St Elizabeth from which it was supposed to be shipped overseas.
During the press briefing, the JDF did not give any information regarding the identity of the four soldiers being questioned; however, the JDF’s Lieutenant Colonel Dameon Creary told reporters that the operation resulted from “robust internal monitoring.”
He disclosed that before the operation, the JDF became aware that an unidentified soldier was involved in the contraband movement.