5 remanded for trafficking over 28 lbs of cocaine, 77 lbs ganja
Parika drug bust
The five men who were nabbed last week on the Parika Public Road, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) by Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) ranks with over 12 kilograms (28 pounds) of cocaine and some 35 kg (77.1 pounds) of cannabis were on Tuesday arraigned at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court.
Magistrate Rochelle Liverpool read the charges of trafficking in narcotics to Doodnauth Chattergoon, 36, and Khemraj Lall, 39, both of Lot 67213 “B” Zeelugt, EBE; Marlon Lawrence, 36, of Felicity, East Coast Demerara (ECD); and Rajendra Persaud, 47, of Liliendaal, ECD.
They denied the charges.
However, the fifth defendant, Clive Thornhill, who was reportedly the captain of the boat which transported the drug from Charity, Essequibo to Parika, admitted that he played a part in the narcotics trafficking. He is claiming that the drugs were collected from himself by Lawrence and Persaud.
According to the prosecution’s case, CANU received a tipoff that the drugs were being transported in two vehicles – PSS 8019 and PVV 7934 – after it arrived via boat at the Parika Stelling.
Motor vehicle PSS 8019 was stopped on the Parika Public Road by CANU ranks and two 15-gallon gasoline barrels were found with their bottoms cut off and reattached with wire and glue.
When the containers were searched, several parcels containing leaves, seeds and stems along with a white powdery substance were discovered.
That car was reportedly being driven by Persaud with Lawrence as a passenger. The second vehicle, PVV 7934, was intercepted with Lall and Chattergoon inside along with cell and satellite phones.
Thornhill was intercepted some time later and reportedly immediately confessed to transporting the drugs.
The five men were all taken to the CANU headquarters where the drugs – 12 parcels of cocaine and 42 parcels of cannabis – were weighed.
In court on Tuesday, Thornhill told Magistrate Liverpool that he was unaware that he was transporting drugs as he was only hired to ‘drop off’ the barrels at Parika.
CANU Prosecutor Konyo Sandiford was in court on Tuesday. Chattergoon and Lall were represented by Attorney-at-Law Bernard DaSilva. Thornhill was advised to seek further guidance from an attorney.
The men were all remanded to prison. The case will continue on July 6, 2018.