One man, who was charged for cocaine possession, was set free, while his two co-accused were sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment, topped with an $11.7 million fine after they were found guilty of the charge brought against them.
Fifty-seven-year-old Aundre Singh, a businessman of Lot 779 Section B Block X Great Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara, and sixty-year-old Clifford Gouveia, a taxi driver of Lot 14 Little Abary, East Coast Demerara, were emotional as Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus made her ruling on Tuesday following the completion of the trial.
Oneal Charan of Lot 47 Sandy Babb Street, Kitty, Georgetown, on the other hand, was freed of the charge by reason of lack of evidence.
However, during the sentencing, Attorney-at-Law Bernard Davila asked for a minimum sentence for his client, Gouveia, since he is a diabetic and suffers from hypertension, while George Thomas, who represented Singh, told the court that his client suffered a medical condition that would require him to visit the hospital on a regular basis.
Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) Prosecutor Narissa Leander asked the court to impose the maximum sentence on both men, citing the serious nature of the offence, the penalty it attracts, and the quantity of drugs that was found.
On October 3, 2018, agents of CANU intercepted two motor cars on Rupert Craig Highway, in the vicinity of Kitty Seawall, with a quantity of cocaine, guns and ammunition. As a result of the operations, three males were taken into custody.
It was reported that Singh and Charan were in a white Premio motor car bearing registration number PSS 8977, while Gouveia was the driver of another motorcar PLL 5213. At the time, a box was being transferred from one car to the other.
Ranks of CANU swooped down on the operation and intercepted a box containing five suspected bricks of cocaine and beauty soaps. Upon weighing the cocaine, it amounted to 5.582 kilograms.
In addition, the home of Singh was subsequently searched and a further 6.6 grams of suspected cocaine, along with US$5000 and GYD$3M were found.
One Taurus Revolver with matching ammunition and one Pistol with matching ammunition were also discovered in another section of Singh’s house.