HAVANA.-  During the first five months of the year, the General Customs of the Republic (AGR) neutralized 34 attempts to smuggle drugs into Cuba, sources from this body reported today in this capital.

 Of those thirty-four, nine were cases of trafficking, while the remaining detected corresponded to travelers carrying those substances for consumption, according to José Luis Muñoz Toca, director of Customs Techniques.

He specified that the quantity of drugs seized during the period was 5.3 kilograms (marijuana and hashish), plus 84 cocaine capsules and 1080.6 grams of synthetic cannabinoids.

The specialist explained that the drugs came from 11 nations, most of them from Latin America, while the points where the attempts were made to introduce these illicit drugs were the airports of Havana, Holguin and Villa Clara, International Freight and postal mail.

He said the highest incidence has been from foreign travelers. Several women were caught that had ingested the drugs or concealed it in body cavities, among other methods used to mask it.

According to Wiliam Pérez González, deputy chief of the AGR, they maintain a policy of Zero Tolerance towards drugs, and in this sense places special emphasis on confronting and controlling drug trafficking.

In the Caribbean country, the fight against this scourge is manifested in the form of a system, through mechanisms such as the National Drug Commission, various organs of the Ministry of the Interior, as well as other State institutions and agencies.

Customs sources have reported that the rise in attempts to introduce drugs into the country is closely linked to the increase in visitors, air operations and cruise ships, the entry of yachts to international marinas, in addition to the decriminalization of marijuana in several nations.

According to customs sources, in 2017, Cuba recorded 94 drug cases - the highest number in the previous five years - with 57.3 kg of narcotic drugs seized.

Of the total number of incidents, 38 were related to traffic and 56 to consumption.