2 busted at CJIA attempting to smuggle $64M in cocaine onto UK-bound plane

Two man who work at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) have been caught by officers of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) attempting to smuggle some $64 million worth of cocaine onto an airplane that was destined for the United Kingdom (UK) on Thursday.

$64M in cocaine was intercepted at the CJIA

According to reports, while performing duties at the baggage shed area, CANU agents stationed at the airport observed the two suspects retrieving four duffle bags thrown by an unknown male over the CJIA fence. The CANU officers intercepted the two males and conducted a search on the duffle bags, which led to the discovery of 64 brick-like parcels suspected to be cocaine.
The suspects, 26-year-old Travis Sealey, a shift leader attached to the New Timehri Handling Service (NTHS), and 20-year-old Koby Bakker, a ground security coordinator attached to Secure Innovations and Concepts (SIC) – both residents of Timehri, EBD – were escorted to CANU Headquarters along with the suspected narcotics.

The two suspects who attempted to smuggle cocaine onto an airplane at the CJIA

While there, the suspected narcotic tested positive for cocaine, and weighed 71.2 kilograms, which has an estimated street value of $64,000,000.
According to CANU, “The narcotic was intended to be loaded on a British Airways flight bound for St. Lucia (UVF), with onward connection to the United Kingdom. If the narcotic had reached its intended destination, the estimated street value would have been over £3,000,000 which is equivalent to approximately $679,000,000.”
The suspects remain in custody as investigations continue.
Earlier this month, CANU officers arrested a resident of Cornelia Ida, West Coast Demerara after 10 brick-like parcels of cocaine wrapped in transparent plastic were discovered in a motorcar he was in.
Sahadeo Prasad, 39, of Grant 104, Anna Catherina, WCD, has since been charged for being in possession of 11.4kg of cocaine which has an estimated street value of $12 million.
CANU reported in January that its officers had seized approximately 1363.28 kilograms of narcotics during 2023. Statistics provided by the agency showed that some 75.17 kilograms of cocaine were recovered from 18 seizures. From 74 operations conducted, 1,287 kilograms of cannabis were seized. Ecstasy and hashish seized accounted for respectively 0.12kg and 0.10kg, and they came from four operations.
A breakdown of the cannabis seized shows that a staggering 796.4 kilograms were removed from Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne). This was followed by 309.7 kilograms from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), 51 kilograms from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), and 41 kilograms from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice). Other areas accounted for the remainder of seizures in smaller proportions.
During the period under review, drugs confiscated by CANU carried a local street value of approximately $461.5 million. The narcotics seized for the period consisted of $75.1 million in cocaine and $386.3 million in cannabis.
A disaggregation of the data showed that 80 persons were arrested, comprising 70 males and 10 females. Some 54 persons were charged, and 47 convictions were secured. Of these persons arrested, 38 were predominantly within the 30-50 age bracket, while 33 were in the age bracket of 18-30 years.
Meanwhile, eight firearms were seized during the last year, consisting of four pistols, three shotguns and one revolver. (G8)