Cocaine in shrimp case dismissed

The 51-year-old fish trader of La Jalousie, West Coast Demerara (WCD) who was before the courts on charges of cocaine possession had the charge dismissed at the Leonara Magistrate’s Court.

Mohammed Ali, called “Phanta”, a father of three, was accused of being in possession of 51.626 kilos of cocaine on May 10, 2015 at Windsor Forest, West Coast Demerara, for the purpose of trafficking.

The State’s case stated that on May 10, 2015, one of Ali’s employees transported the illegal substance to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) concealed in 40 boxes of frozen shrimp.

It was alleged that while the employee at the Airport, Ali made contact with him and ordered that he cancel the arrangement and return with the boxes. This, however, roused the suspicions of ranks of the narcotics branch of the Police Force. The ranks searched the boxes and the cocaine was found. The drug was intended to be loaded on to a Caribbean Airlines flight.

Ali was then contacted, told of the offence, and later charged.

However, on Tuesday at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court, the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the elements of possession. Ali was represented by Attorney Bernard DaSilva.