CANU loses Springlands 40 kilo cocaine case
Lawyers for alleged Corentyne cocaine trafficker, Salim Bacchus, secured his freedom yesterday when they successfully argued the unreliability of the witnesses in the case.
Bacchus, who was on trial for trafficking in 30 kilograms of cocaine, was represented by attorneys at law Glen Hanoman and Ramesh Rajkumar. Hearing the matter was Magistrate Fabian Azore at the Whim Magistrate’s Court.
The Magistrate upheld no case submissions made by the defence. She said that she had difficulty believing the testimony given by the Prosecution’s star witness, the team leader of the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit that had carried out the drug bust.
Bacchus, alias ‘Black Salim’, of Line Path, Skeldon, Corentyne was one of four men initially charged last November with tracking in cocaine.
The other three men, Canadian resident Narayan Jarbandhan, of Lot 11 Gordon Street, Kitty, Georgetown; Gary Belgrave, of Section ‘C’ Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara and Leo Hernandez, of Block X Section ‘C’ Diamond, East Bank Demerara, all pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking and were subsequently released.
Jarbandhan had previously faced another trafficking in cocaine charge in 2010.
He was convicted of trafficking in narcotics, sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and fined $30,000 but has appealed the conviction and was granted bail pending the outcome of the appeal.
Bacchus is the brother of Azad Bacchus also known as `Ak 47′, who was killed in a shootout with the Berbice Anti-Smuggling Squad (BASS) in 2001.
The case is that sometime in November last year around 06:00 CANU agents swooped down on a location in the Crabwood Creek/Skeldon Line Path, Corentyne area, where they recovered 40 kilograms of cocaine, which is believed to have come through Guyana’s North West District and was en route to Suriname.
The operation commenced after the area had been under surveillance for a few days.
During the trial attorney-at-law Mr. Glen Hanoman, representing Bacchus, had complained to the Court that his client was tortured. He alleged that no account could be given of US$1,900 and documents his client had in his possession when he was arrested.