Chapter 10:07 - Maritime Drug Trafficking (Suppression)

Link to law: http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/information/laws-of-guyana/475-chapter-1007-maritime-drug-trafficking-suppression/file

L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
MARITIME DRUG TRAFFICKING (SUPPRESSION) ACT
CHAPTER 10:07
Act
12 of 2003

Current Authorised Pages
Pages
(inclusive)
Authorised
by L.R.O.
1 – 23 ... 1/2012
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Note
on
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

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CHAPTER 10:07
MARITIME DRUG TRAFFICKING (SUPPRESSION) ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
PART I
PRELIMINARY
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Application of the Act to treaty States.
4. Establishment of Central Authority.
PART II
REQUESTS BY GUYANA
5. Requests by Guyana relating to waters seaward of territorial sea.
6. Contents of request.
7. Request for assistance to conduct patrols, etc. in Guyana waters.
8. Embarking on treaty State’s law enforcement vessels.
9. Law enforcement actions, responsibility of Guyana law enforcement
officials.
10. Authority of Guyana law enforcement officials on board treaty
State’s vessel.
11. Permission to follow aircraft or vessel into treaty State waters.
12. Permission to overfly treaty State waters.
PART III
REQUESTS BY TREATY STATE
13. Request by treaty State relating to waters seaward of territorial sea.
14. Contents of request by treaty State.
15. Requests for assistance to conduct patrol, etc., in treaty State waters.
16. Embarking on Guyana law enforcement vessels.
17. Authority of law enforcement officials of a treaty State on board
Guyana vessel.
18. Permission to follow aircraft or vessel in Guyana waters.
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SECTION
19. Aircraft support in Guyana airspace or Guyana waters.
PART IV
GENERAL
20. Waiver of jurisdiction.
21. Extension of laws of Guyana to offences committed on vessels outside
Guyana waters.
22. Regulations.
__________________________
CHAPTER 10:07
MARITIME DRUG TRAFFICKING (SUPPRESSION) ACT
12 of 2003 An Act to provide for co-operation in the suppression of
illicit maritime drug trafficking and for connected
matters.
[19TH AUGUST, 2003]
Short title.

Interpretation.
PART I
PRELIMINARY
1. This Act may be cited as the Maritime Drug
Trafficking (Suppression) Act.
2. In this Act—
“Central Authority” means the Authority established under
section 4;
“the Convention” mean the United Nations Convention
against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
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Substances 1988;
“illicit traffic” has the same meaning as in the Convention;
“Guyana airspace” means the airspace over Guyana and
Guyana waters;
“Guyana territory and waters” means the territory, territorial
sea and internal waters of Guyana and the airspace over
such territory and waters referred to in the Constitution
of Guyana;
“law enforcement official” means—
(a) members of the Police Force or
members of the Guyana Defence
Force; or
(b) any person designated as such by a
treaty State;
“law enforcement vessels” means—
(a) ships clearly marked and identifiable
as being on government non-
commercial service and authorised
and used for law enforcement
purposes; and
(b) any boat or aircraft embarked on such
ships;
“treaty State” means any foreign State in relation to which an
order under section 3(1) is for the time being in force and
includes—
(a) a colony, territory, protectorate or
other dependency of such State;
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Application of
the Act to
treaty States.

Establishment
of Central
Authority.


Requests by
Guyana
(b) a territory for the international
relations of which such State is
responsible;
“treaty State waters” means waters under the sovereignty of a
treaty State.
3. (1) Where any maritime drug trafficking treaty has
been made with any foreign State, the Minister may, by order
declare that the provisions of this Act shall apply in respect of
that foreign State, subject to such exceptions, adaptations or
modifications, as the Minister, having due regard to the terms
of such treaty, may deem expedient to specify in the order for
the purpose of implementing those terms.
(2) The Minister may from time to time by order,
compile and publish in the Gazette, a list of foreign States with
which maritime drug trafficking treaties are in force; and,
without prejudice to any other form of proof of the existence
of such treaty, such an order shall, in any proceedings, be
conclusive evidence that a maritime drug trafficking treaty is
in force between Guyana and each foreign State named in the
list.
(3) An order under this section shall be subject to
affirmative resolution of the National Assembly.
4. (1) There is hereby established an Authority to be
known as the Central Authority which shall be the Minister
responsible for national security or any person designated by
him for the purpose of performing such functions or duties of
the Central Authority as may be specified in the instrument of
designation.
PART II
REQUESTS BY GUYANA
5. (1) Where Guyana law enforcement officials have
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relating to
waters seaward
of territorial
sea.

Contents of
request.
reasonable grounds for suspecting that a foreign vessel of a
treaty State is engaging in illicit traffic seaward of any State’s
territorial sea, the Central Authority may request that State in
which the foreign vessel is registered or claims to be
registered to verify the registration of that vessel and, if
verified, to authorise the boarding and search of such vessel,
its cargo and persons found on board.
(2) A request made under this section shall be
conveyed orally and confirmed in writing to the competent
authority of the treaty State and shall state the grounds on
which it is made.
(3) A vessel shall be deemed to be flying the flag of
or registered in a treaty State if it is registered or licensed as a
fishing vessel under the laws of that State relating to fishing
or the fishing industry.
6. (1) A request for authorisation to board and search
a vessel shall contain—
(a) the name, homeport and registration
number of the vessel;
(b) the grounds for suspecting that the
vessel is engaged in illicit traffic;
(c) such other information as may be
necessary to identify the vessel.
(2) Guyana law enforcement officials shall, while
carrying out a boarding and search, take into account the
need—
(a) not to endanger the safety of life at
sea or the security of the vessel being
searched and of its cargo;

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(b) not to prejudice the commercial and
legal interests of the treaty State or
any other interested State;
(c) to observe norms of courtesy, respect
and consideration for the persons on
board that vessel.
(3) Where as a result of any search carried out on a
vessel evidence is found of illicit traffic, the Guyana law
enforcement officials—
(a) shall forthwith—
(i) inform the treaty State of the
results of the search and of the
names and nationality, if
known, of the persons on board
the vessel;
(ii) request the treaty State to give
directions as to the disposition
of the vessel, cargo and persons
on board;
(b) may detain the vessel, cargo and
persons on board pending receipt of
such directions.
(4) Guyana law enforcement officials shall, when
boarding a vessel and carrying out a search thereon, avoid the
use of force in any way, including the use of firearms except
in the following cases—
(a) in the exercise of the right of self
defence;
(b) to compel the vessel to stop where the
vessel has ignored the standard
warnings given by the Guyana law
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Request for
assistance to
conduct patrols
etc. in Guyana.

enforcement officials to do so;
(c) to maintain order on board the vessel
while the boarding and search are
being carried out or while the vessel is
being detained in circumstances
where—
(i) the crew or persons on board
resist or impede the boarding
or search, or try to destroy
evidence of illicit traffic; or
(ii) the vessel attempts to flee
during the boarding or search
or while it is being detained.
(5) Guyana law enforcement officials may carry
small arms while conducting a boarding and search of any
vessel and shall only discharge them—
(a) when it is not possible to apply less
extreme measures; and
(b) with the prior consent of the treaty
State,
except where warning shots are required as a signal for a
vessel to stop or in the exercise of the right of self-defence.
7. (1) The Central Authority may request assistance
from a treaty State for the provision by that State of law
enforcement vessels to effectively carry out patrols and
conduct surveillance in Guyana waters for the prevention and
detection of illicit traffic.
(2) Where a treaty State agrees to provide
assistance in response to a request made under subsection (1),
the Central Authority shall request the treaty State to provide
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Embarking on
treaty State’s
law
enforcement
vessels.

the following information—
(a) the name and description of the law
enforcement vessel;
(b) the date when and the period during
which it will be made available;
(c) the name of the Commanding Officer;
and
(d) such other information as the Central
Authority considers relevant.
8. (1) The Central Authority may designate law
enforcement officials who may, for the conduct of law
enforcement operations for the prevention, detention and
suppression of illicit traffic by vessels in Guyana waters,
embark on law enforcement vessels belonging to a treaty
State.
(2) The law enforcement officials may, while
embarked on law enforcement vessels belonging to a treaty
State—
(a) enforce the laws of Guyana in Guyana
waters, and seaward therefrom in the
exercise of the right of hot pursuit, or
otherwise in accordance with
international law; and
(b) authorise the entry of the law
enforcement vessels into and their
navigation within Guyana waters.
9. Any law enforcement action, including boardings,
searches or seizures, detentions and the use of force, whether
or not involving weapons, carried out pursuant to section 8, responsibility
actions
enforcement
Law

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of Guyana law
enforcement
officials.
Authority of
Guyana law
enforcement
officials on
board treaty
State’s vessel.

Permission to
follow aircraft
or vessel into
treaty State
waters.

shall be the responsibility of and carried out by Guyana law
enforcement officials in accordance with Guyana laws.

10. Where Guyana law enforcement officials are
embarked on a law enforcement vessel of a treaty State those
officials shall carry out law enforcement action as described in
section 9 so, however, that—
(a) crew members of the treaty State’s
law enforcement action if expressly
requested to do so by the vessel may
assist in any such law enforcement
action by Guyana law enforcement
official in command but only to the
extent and in the manner requested;
and
(b) any such assistance shall be rendered
in accordance with the relevant
Guyana laws, to the extent that those
laws are not inconsistent with the
laws of the treaty State.
11. (1) Where Guyana law enforcement officials have
reasonable grounds to suspect that a foreign aircraft or
foreign vessel is engaged in illicit traffic, the Central
Authority may request permission of the relevant treaty State
for a Guyana law enforcement vessel to follow the foreign
aircraft or foreign vessel into the treaty State’s waters or to
enter those waters or that State’s airspace in order to maintain
contact with the aircraft or vessel and to investigate, board
and search such vessel.
(2) A request made under this section shall be
conveyed orally and confirmed in writing to the competent
authority of the treaty State and shall state the grounds on
which it is made.

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(3) The Central Authority in making a request
under subsection (1), shall specify the special circumstances
which exist and the grounds for the alleged suspicion.
(4) All boardings and searches of foreign vessels
suspected of illicit traffic, carried out pursuant to permission
granted by a relevant treaty State shall be conducted in
accordance with the laws of that State.
(5) Where as a result of boarding and search,
evidence is found of illicit traffic on a foreign vessel—
(a) the relevant treaty State shall be
promptly informed of the results of
the search;
(b) that vessel and cargo and persons
found on board shall unless the
relevant treaty State otherwise directs,
be detained and taken to a designated
port within the waters of that State,
and thereafter all law enforcement action shall be under the
control and direction of the law enforcement officials, and
conducted in accordance with the laws of the relevant treaty
State.
(6) Where special circumstances exist which make
it essential for Guyana law enforcement officials to maintain
contact with a foreign aircraft or foreign vessel suspected of
illicit traffic which is in or is entering the treaty State waters
or the treaty State airspace, the Guyana law enforcement
vessel may, upon notice to the person designated by the
competent authority of the relevant State, enter those waters
for the sole purpose of maintaining contact with that aircraft
or vessel pending a response to the request for permission
under subsection (1).

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Permission to
overfly treaty
State waters.

12. (1) Where Guyana law enforcement officials have
reasonable grounds to suspect that a foreign vessel or foreign
vessel or foreign aircraft is engaged in illicit traffic and that
vessel or aircraft is located in or over, or is entering the
airspace or waters of a treaty State, those officials shall
provide the competent authority of the treaty State with
information regarding that aircraft or vessel and may make a
request for Guyana aircraft—
(a) to overfly the territory and waters of
that State in pursuit of the foreign
aircraft or foreign vessel flying into or
located within that state’s airspace or
waters;
(b) to manoeuvre to maintain visual and
electronic contact with that aircraft or
vessel.
(2) Where a request referred to in subsection (1) is
granted, the Central Authority shall, before any Guyana
aircraft overflies the territory of the relevant treaty State or
manoeuvre to maintain contact, give notice of the overflight
and manoeuvre to the competent authority and the civil
aviation authority of that State; and the aircraft shall comply
with all air navigation and flight safety directions given by
that State’s civil aviation authority.
(3) Where circumstances exist which make it
essential for Guyana law enforcement officials to maintain
contact with a foreign aircraft or foreign vessel suspected of
illicit traffic which is in or entering the treaty State waters or
the treaty State airspace the Guyana law enforcement aircraft
may, upon notice to the competent authority of the treaty
State and its civil aviation authority, enter and manoeuvre
within the treaty State airspace for the sole purpose of
maintaining contact with the foreign aircraft or foreign vessel
pending a response to the request for permission under
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Requests by
treaty State
relating to
waters seaward
of territorial
sea.

subsection (1).
PART III
REQUESTS BY TREATY STATE
13. (1) Assistance may be provided by the Central
Authority to a treaty State on request, to—
(a) verify the registration of a vessel
which is—
(i) suspected by that State of being
engaged in illicit traffic
seaward of any State’s
territorial sea; and
(ii) registered or claims to be
registered in Guyana; and
(b) authorise the boarding and search of
such vessel, its cargo and persons
found on board.
(2) A request made under this section shall be
conveyed orally and confirmed in writing to the Central
Authority and shall state the grounds on which it is made.
(3) A vessel shall be deemed to be flying the flag of
or registered in Guyana if it is registered or licensed as a
fishing vessel under the laws of Guyana relating to fishing or
the fishing industry.
(4) Where the Central Authority verifies that the
vessel is registered in Guyana and is satisfied that there are
reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel is engaged in
illicit traffic, the Central Authority may authorise the law
enforcement officials of the treaty State to board and search
that vessel, its cargo and persons found on board.

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Contents of
request by
treaty State.

14. (1) A request for authorisation to board and search
a vessel shall contain—
(a) the name, homeport and registration
number of the vessel;
(b) the grounds for suspecting that the
vessel or aircraft is engaged in illicit
traffic;
(c) such other information as may be
necessary to identify the vessel.
(2) Law enforcement officials of the treaty State
shall, when boarding and carrying out a search on a Guyana
vessel, take into account the need—
(a) not to endanger the safety of life at
sea or the security of the vessel being
searched and of its cargo;
(b) not to prejudice the commercial and
legal interests of Guyana or any other
interested State;
(c) to observe norms of courtesy, respect
and consideration for the persons on
board the vessel.
(3) Where, as a result of any search carried out on a
Guyana vessel, evidence is found of illicit traffic, the law
enforcement officials of the treaty State—
(a) shall forthwith—
(i) inform the Central Authority of
the names and nationality, if
known, of the persons on board
the vessel;
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(ii) request the Central Authority
to give directions as to the
disposition of the vessel, cargo
and persons on board;
(b) may detain the vessel, cargo and
persons on board pending receipt of
such directions.
(4) Law enforcement officials of the treaty State
shall, when boarding and carrying out a search on a Guyana
vessel, avoid the use of force, in any way, including the use of
firearms, except in the following cases—
(a) in the exercise of the right of self-
defence;
(b) to compel the Guyana vessel to stop
where the vessel has ignored the
standard warnings given by the law
enforcement officials of the treaty
State to do so;
(c) to maintain order on board the vessel
while the boarding and search are
being carried out or the vessel is being
detained in circumstances where—
(i) the crew or persons on board
resist or impede the boarding
or search or try to destroy
evidence of illicit traffic; or
(ii) the vessel attempts to flee
during the boarding or search
or while it is being detained.
(5) Law enforcement officials of the treaty State
may carry small arms while conducting a boarding and
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Requests for
assistance to
conduct patrol,
etc., in treaty
State waters.

Embarking on
Guyana law
enforcement
vessels.
search of any vessel, and shall only discharge them—
(a) when it is not possible to apply less
extreme measures; and
(b) with the prior authorisation of the
Central Authority, except where
warning shots are required as a signal
for a vessel to stop or in the exercise
of the right of self-defence.
15. (1) Assistance may be granted by the Central
Authority on request to a treaty State for the provision by
Guyana of law enforcement vessels to effectively carry out
patrol and conduct surveillance in waters of the treaty State
for the prevention and detection of illicit traffic.
(2) Where Guyana agrees to provide assistance
under subsection (1), the Central Authority shall inform the
competent authority of the treaty State of—
(a) the name and description of the law
enforcement vessel;
(b) the date when and the period during
which it will be made available;
(c) the name of the Commanding Officer;
and
(d) any other relevant information.
16. (1) Where assistance is granted to a treaty State for
the conduct by law enforcement officials of that State of law
enforcement operations for the prevention, detection and
suppression of illicit traffic by vessels in the treaty State
waters, the law enforcement officials designated by the treaty
State for that purpose may embark on law enforcement
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Authority of
law
enforcement
officials of a
treaty State on
board Guyana
vessels.
vessels belonging to Guyana.
(2) The law enforcement officials of a treaty State
may, while embarked on law enforcement vessels belonging
to Guyana—
(a) enforce the laws of the treaty State in
the waters of that State, and seaward
therefrom in the exercise of the right
of hot pursuit, or otherwise, in
accordance with international law;
and
(b) authorise the entry of the law
enforcement vessels of Guyana into
and their navigation within the waters
of the treaty State.
(3) Any law enforcement action, including any
boarding or search of a vessel or search or seizure of property,
detention of person and the use of force, whether or not
involving weapons, carried out pursuant to this section, shall
be the responsibility of and carried out by law enforcement
officials of the treaty State in accordance with the laws of that
State.
17. Where law enforcement officials of a treaty State
are embarked on a Guyana law enforcement vessel—
(a) those officials shall have authority to
carry out any law enforcement action,
including the boarding or search of
any vessel or the search or seizure of
any property, and the detention of a
person, by use of force, whether or
not involving weapons;
(b) crew members of Guyana law
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Permission to
follow aircraft
or vessel in
Guyana waters.

enforcement vessel may assist in any
such action—
(i) if expressly requested to do so
by the treaty State’s law
enforcement official in
command; and
(ii) only to the extent and in the
manner requested;
(c) such assistance, including the use of
force, shall be tendered in accordance
with the relevant laws of the treaty
state to the extent that those laws are
not inconsistent with laws of Guyana.
18. (1) Assistance may be provided by the Central
Authority to a treaty State on request, to permit a law
enforcement vessel of that State—
(a) to follow a foreign aircraft or vessel
into Guyana waters; or
(b) to enter Guyana waters in order to—
(i) maintain contact with that
aircraft or vessel; and
(ii) investigate, board and search
such vessel.
(2) A request made under this section shall be
conveyed orally and confirmed in writing to the Central
Authority and shall state the grounds on which it is made.
(3) A request under subsection (1) shall specify the
special circumstances which exist and the grounds for the
alleged suspicion.
(4) Where the Central Authority is satisfied that
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there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the foreign
aircraft or foreign vessel is engaged in illicit traffic and that
special circumstances so warrant, the Central Authority may
approve the request made under subsection (1).
(5) All boardings and searches of foreign vessels
suspected of illicit traffic shall be conducted in accordance
with the laws of Guyana.
(6) In approving a request under subsection (1) the
Central Authority shall require that if, as a result of boarding
and search referred to in subsection (1)(b)(ii), evidence of
illicit traffic is found on a foreign vessel—
(a) the Central Authority be promptly
informed of the results of the search;
(b) the vessel, cargo and persons found
on board be detained and taken to a
designated port within Guyana
waters unless the Central Authority
otherwise directs,
and thereafter all enforcement action shall be under the
control and direction of Guyana law enforcement officials,
and conducted in accordance with the laws of Guyana.
(7) Where special circumstances exist which make
it essential for law enforcement officials of a treaty State to
maintain contact with a foreign aircraft or foreign vessel
suspected of illicit traffic which is in or is entering the waters
or airspace of Guyana, the law enforcement vessel of the
treaty State may, upon notice to the person designated by the
Central Authority, enter Guyana waters for the sole purpose
of maintaining contact with that aircraft or vessel pending a
response to the request for permission under subsection (1).

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Aircraft
support in
Guyana
airspace or
Guyana waters.
19. (1) Assistance may be provided by the Central
Authority to a treaty State on request, to permit an aircraft of
that State to—
(a) overfly Guyana and Guyana waters in
pursuit of a foreign aircraft or foreign
vessel fleeing into or located within
Guyana airspace or Guyana waters;
(b) manoeuvre to maintain visual and
electronic contact with that aircraft or
vessel.
(2) Where the Central Authority is satisfied that
there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a foreign vessel
or foreign aircraft is engaged in illicit traffic, it may approve a
request made under subsection (1).
(3) Approval of a request under this section shall
be subject to the following conditions—
(a) the competent authority of the treaty
State shall be required, before any of
that State’s aircraft overflies Guyana
or manoeuvre to maintain contact, to
give notice of the overflight and
manoeuvre to the Central Authority
and the Civil Aviation Authority; and
(b) the aircraft shall be required to
comply with all air navigation and
flight safety directions given by the
Civil Aviation Authority.
(4) Where circumstances exist which make it
essential for law enforcement officials of a treaty State to
maintain contact with a foreign aircraft or foreign vessel
suspected of illicit traffic which is in or entering Guyana
waters or Guyana airspace, the law enforcement aircraft of
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Waiver of
jurisdiction.
that treaty State may, upon notice to the person designated by
the Central Authority and to the Civil Aviation Authority,
enter and manoeuvre within Guyana airspace for the sole
purpose of maintaining contact with the aircraft or vessel
pending a response to the request for permission under
subsection (1).
PART IV
GENERAL
20. (1) Where—
(a) pursuant to section 5, a foreign vessel
of a treaty State is detained seaward
of any State’s territorial sea by
Guyana law enforcement officials;
and
(b) the treaty State waives its right to
exercise jurisdiction over that vessel
and authorises Guyana to enforce its
laws against that vessel, its cargo and
any persons found on board,
any offence that may have been committed, in relation to
illicit traffic, shall be liable to be tried by a court in Guyana.
(2) Where pursuant to sections 13 and 14, a
Guyana vessel is detained seaward of any State’s territorial
sea by a treaty State, the Minister may waive Guyana’s right
to exercise jurisdiction over the vessel and authorise the
relevant treaty State to enforce its laws against that vessel, its
cargo and persons found on board other than Guyana
Nationals.
(3) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as a
waiver by Guyana of its right to exercise jurisdiction over any
Guyana national or as authorising the relevant treaty State to
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Extension of
laws of Guyana
to offences
committed on
vessels outside
Guyana waters.

Regulations.
enforce its laws against any such national.
21. (1) The laws of Guyana extend to any offence
committed outside Guyana waters on a vessel or aircraft
registered in Guyana; and for the purposes of the jurisdiction
of any court in Guyana, the offence shall be treated as if it
were committed in the Magisterial District in which
proceedings are brought.
(2) Where the offence of illicit traffic is
committed—
(a) within the territory of Guyana or on
board a vessel or aircraft which is
registered in Guyana; and
(b) the alleged offender is—
(i) present in Guyana; or
(ii) A Guyana national,
that offender shall be liable to be tried by a court in Guyana if
that offender is not extradited pursuant to the provisions of
the Convention on the ground specified in paragraph (a) or
(b) (ii).
22. The Minister may make regulations in respect of
all such matters as are required or necessary for carrying out
or giving effect to this Act.
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