‘Ice could have slipped through to Tinian after the typhoon’


TINIAN—The shipment of loads and loads of donations from different parts of the world would have been an opportunity for “ice” shipments to have slipped through to Tinian after Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation last October.

That was one of the biggest concerns of Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan in the aftermath of Yutu, saying the entry of so many donations created an “open gate, a gap” in the efforts to combat “ice” trafficking.

“Remember, where everybody was throwing in some relief goods, and that was my concern,” he said in an interview last weekend.

He is happy, however, that Saipan Customs is now on Tinian, doing enforcement routines by bringing out their trained K-9 dogs and searching all the airlines, airport, and seaport.

He said he asked for that specialized K-9 Unit to be implemented on the island. Even when he was still at the Legislature, he told Customs that the island needs K-9 dogs to detect and intercept methamphetamine shipments.

Aldan, who used to serve as a police officer on the island for 17 years, said he is aware that Tinian also has its share of the “ice” scourge.

To address the problem, he underscored the island’s need of help from the other departments on Saipan to bring equipment that can easily detect, deter the illegal drugs, and apprehend the “ice” dealers in the community.

“I am a strong believer [in] zero tolerance [for illegal drugs],” Aldan said, adding that people should report those involved in illegal drugs to law enforcers.

In November 2015, then-Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas and then-Department of Public Safety Commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero disclosed that meth had been flooding the streets of Tinian.

A three-day highway interdiction patrol on Tinian netted 30 violator stops on vehicles and five arrests for illegal possession of controlled substances (“ice” and marijuana) and for violation of the open container law.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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