Batavia $1B cocaine bust…Magistrate to make ruling on no-case submission
Magistrate Haymant Ramdhani is expected to make a ruling on a no-case submission next Friday in the matter against five accused who are facing charges of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Deonarine Singh, Randolph ‘Fatboy’ Singh, Clyn Collier, Terry James and Garcia Luis Alberto were charged for trafficking some $1B worth in cocaine on June 19, last.
Yesterday the matter was called at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court, where their lawyers, Vic Puran and Glenn Hanoman made no-case submission on their clients’ behalf. It was pointed out to the court that the men were not found in the boat or anywhere near the vessel in which the cocaine was found. Instead the men were found on an island which was heavily populated.
Further, the Magistrate called on the police to close the case as he will be making a ruling on the next occasion.
Also during the court hearing, the Magistrate as well as the lawyers expressed their concern over the tardiness of the police arriving in court with the exhibits which were supposed to have been in court for a specific time. When the matter was called, the court was told that the exhibits were still on a boat in the Essequibo River on its way up to Bartica.
On June 9, 2011, at Batavia, Cuyuni River, members of the Police Narcotics Branch acting upon information, seized 149kg of cocaine. The cocaine was intercepted, 24 kilometres away from the mining town of Bartica.
The cocaine was reportedly hidden in four five-gallon containers on the boat that carried the name Amor.
Following the bust, Venezuelan national Luis Alberto Garcia; Deonarine Singh, 41, of Friendship, East Bank Demerara; Randolph Singh, 32; Clyn Collier, 34, of South Ruimveldt and Terry James, 20, of Kurtuku, Cuyuni, were jointly charged with trafficking in narcotics, and appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, where they were remanded to prison by Chief Magistrate, Priya Sewnarine-Beharry. The matter was subsequently transferred to Bartica.
Recently an investigation was launched into the same matter after a quantity of the cocaine went missing while being shipped to Bartica by police ranks.