Narcotics Enforcement Agency (NEA) Director Ismael Aguon

A recent article by an established newspaper, The Guardian, titled ‘The new drug highway: Pacific islands at center of cocaine trafficking boom’ suggests that the cocaine and methamphetamine from US and Latin America is being transported to Australia via South Pacific Island nations.

Island Times interviewed the Director of Narcotics Enforcement Agency Ismael Aguon to understand the involvement of Palau in tackling the problem.

Ismael Aguon said, “We plan to be more vigilant and be on the lookout. That alert only tells us that we are a grand transshipment point, so we need to be more vigilant and not contribute to the problem of drug trafficking.”

He also added that the agency is in talks with other nearby island countries and pointed out that the drugs what he believed came from China, Mexico and other Asian countries are a problem for all island societies.

“There is coordination with nearby islands, there was skepticism about that is it really serious but now it is clear.” Aguon said.

He further said that Palau is within that transshipment passage way and the threat is very high.

“There is a potential danger of having more drugs on the island and the responsibility is to prevent it.”

According to Aguon, the most common, dangerous and a prominent threat Palau faces in terms of drugs is Methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine

“We are on high alert on all the borders. It is high peak season as it is summer time. We anticipate that there will be shipments and parcels predominantly of meth that might be trying to get into our populations,” he added. (By Eshan Kalyanikar)