7 Feb 2009

Drug Enforcement Administration official says drug trafficking in CNMI an epidemic

10:34 am on 7 February 2009

A U.S Drug Enforcement Administration official says drug trafficking has reached epidemic levels in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

Senior Special Agent Daniel Holcomb told the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, that methampetamine, also known as "ice," continues to be smuggled into the CNMI by a Chinese crime syndicate.

And he says some of these illegal drugs have reached schools.

Mr Holcomb believes that the increase in domestic violence, theft, rape and sexual assault incidents is linked to drug abuse.

He says his agency has yet to determine what percentage of illegal drugs are getting in through mail or cargo.

He warned that Chinese organized crime is capable of supplying a large amount of illegal drugs.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is aggressively targeting Chinese criminal groups because they are also responsible for human trafficking and technology transfer to terrorist organizations.

He called for strong community involvement, particularly the business sector, in fighting illegal drugs.