The packages of marijuana seized by the Coast Guard and South West Division Police, on Sunday 18 October 2020, in Morne Diablo. (Image: TTPS)

A quantity of marijuana and dozens of exotic birds were seized in Morne Diablo on Sunday, following an operation involving the South Western Division Task Force (SWDTF) and the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG).

A statement from the Coast Guard reports that a Coast Guard patrol observed a vessel acting suspiciously off the south coast of Trinidad in the vicinity of Morne Diablo.

According to the release, the vessel then landed on a nearby beach and its occupants were observed offloading a number of unknown packages.

“Coast Guard personnel attempted to detain the individuals, but they managed to escape leaving behind the suspicious packages,” the TTCG statement says. “Searches were conducted by the Coast Guard and 54 packages of marijuana (weighing approximately 54 kg with a street value of TT$1.7 million) were discovered, along with a quantity of birds. There were retrieved and handed over to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).”

The baskets of finches and macaws seized by the Coast Guard and South West Division Police, on Sunday 18 October 2020, in Morne Diablo. (Image: TTPS)

A release from the TTPS adds that the persons in the pirogue appeared to be three Venezuelan nationals, and despite police efforts, they managed to escape into the forest.

The TTPS also confirms the exotic birds off-loaded by the smugglers include thirty Finches and two Macaws.

Investigations continue.