Police seek two city businessmen
Bartica drug bust…
The police have now stated that they are currently trying to locate two city businessmen, who may be the masterminds behind Thursday’s massive cocaine find at Batavia.
The police, acting on a “tip off” on Thursday, intercepted a vessel with a large quantity of cocaine at Batavia, located some eight kilometers ( five miles) up the Cuyuni River and about 24 kilometers south of Bartica.
The cocaine with an estimated street value US$5million ($1B) was found stashed in four large plastic containers on a vessel named “Amor”. That vessel was powered with two 75-horsepower outboard engines.
Sources close to the investigation yesterday said that information emerging from the detained suspects has pointed to the businessmen.
The police official stated that the same two businessmen were wanted by the police several weeks ago. The police had issued the bulletins after the execution-style murder of Patrick Goodluck and Godfrey Grootfaam.
The two men died almost instantly from multiple gunshot wounds.
The police had stated that some of the men for whom the bulletin was issued are known businessmen while others are ex-policemen who are known associates of convicted drug trafficker Roger Khan.
The five persons, one Venezuelan and four Guyanese, are being detained at the Eve Leary Police headquarters.
The vessel along with the drug was transported to Georgetown on Friday for security reasons.
The persons detained were identified as 20-year-old Terry Jones also called David Crème, of Kurtuku, Cuyuni, said to be the boat captain; 41-year-old Deonarine Singh of Friendship, East Bank Demerara, 32-year-old Randolph ‘Fatboy’ Singh , 34-year-old Clyn Collier of South Ruimveldt and Garcia Luis Alberto of Venezuela.
Police sources on Friday said that charges could be instituted by Monday.
After the Guyanese are charged, their fingerprints will also be lodged with the Interpol database. Logos on the cocaine packages, which suggest the South America origin of the drug, will also be shared with international law enforcement counterparts.
Sources close to the investigation have stated that fingerprints of the “Venezuelan” were sent to Interpol ( International Police) to ascertain whether he is wanted or has been involved in crimes elsewhere.
Kaieteur News was told that officials from the Venezuelan embassy have spoken with the detained foreigner.
The bust was made on Thursday around 13:00 hours. Ranks from the Bartica Police Station had mobilised a team and had headed to Batavia.
There, they intercepted the Amor, a small vessel that was outfitted with two brand-new 75-horsepower engines.
On boarding the vessel the ranks discovered four large plastic containers with false bottoms that held a large quantity of cocaine later estimated to be close to 200 kilograms. Kaieteur News was told that each drum contained about 75 parcels of the prohibited substance.
The five persons on the vessel were taken to the Bartica Police Station.
Ranks from CID Headquarters, Eve Leary, Georgetown, had to travel to Bartica to assist in the investigation.
However, out of concern that Bartica might be vulnerable to attack from persons linked to the bust, police and army ranks transported the cocaine haul to the city.
While information is still sketchy, police believe that the drugs came from Venezuela.
Guyana is considered to be a major transshipment point for cocaine and in recent months, Jamaican authorities intercepted two ships that originated from Guyana with large quantities of cocaine.
Some 122 kilograms of cocaine in a consignment of timber from Guyana, was discovered in a ship that stopped in Jamaica.
Jamaican authorities made the discovery on aboard the MV Vega Azurit which had departed last March.
Several persons were questioned in connection with the drug bust, but no charges were ever instituted.
And on April 3, two Barbadians and three Guyanese nationals were arrested after ranks who were acting on information stumbled upon one of the biggest drug busts in Barbados.
The seizure is recorded as the second biggest bust in Barbados’s history following the conviction and sentencing of six Guyanese, including two women, for trafficking cocaine and marijuana valued at over BDS$30 million or US$15 million into the island on June 4, 2009.