GEORGETOWN – Anti-narcotics ranks believe that they have dented a major drug smuggling ring that routed coke through the Pomeroon, Region Two area.
In a bust last Wednesday in the Parika area, East Bank Essequibo, ranks of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) arrested five men, including four occupants of two cars and a boat captain. They seized a significant quantity of cocaine and marijuana as well as a satellite phone.
Yesterday, five men appeared before Magistrate Rochelle Liverpool at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court. They are being charged with possession for the purposes of trafficking.
The five men charged are Khamraj Lall, 39, of Zeelugt; Marlon Lawrence, 36, of Felicity, East Coast Demerara; Rajendra Persaud, 47; Cleve Thornhill and Doodnauth Chattergoon.
CANU in a statement disclosed that the seizures and arrests occurred on June 6th, 2018 at Parika, East Bank Essequibo.
The unit disclosed that a quantity of suspected cocaine and marijuana concealed in two blue plastic gas bottles were intercepted in the trunk of a motor vehicle at Parika Public Road.
In two gas containers, CANU ranks found 35.080 kilograms (77 pounds) of suspected cannabis and 13.812 kilograms (30 pounds) of suspected cocaine.
Thornhill, a boat captain, pleaded guilty yesterday to transporting the containers. However, he was not aware the illegal items were what he was transporting. As a result, he was advised by the magistrate to seek legal counsel. She was not prepared to take his plea.
Prosecutor of CANU, Konyo Sandiford, revealed that CANU received information that a drug-smuggling operation was underway from Charity, Pomeroon River, Region Two.
On the day in question, June 6th, ranks staked out the Parika, East Bank Essequibo area, watching for two vehicles, PSS 8019 and PVV 7934. Around 1pm, they managed to stop PSS:8019. Lawrence and Persaud were inside.
In the trunk, the ranks found two blue, gas containers with the bottoms cut out and pasted back together. They found what appeared to be marijuana and cocaine in them.
Around 4pm, they stopped the other
vehicle, PVV 7934, which Lall and Chattergoon were in.
The ranks seized a satellite phone.
The lawyer for the two men, Bernard da Silva, questioned the reason why his clients were being charged, as they were not in possession of the suspected cocaine and marijuana.
However, the CANU prosecutor told the court that evidence will be tendered of phone calls from the satellite phone. Thornhill was last to be arrested.
The matter continues on July 3rd.