Jun 08, 2012 News Comments Off on Drug charge against Nigerian dismissed
– Remains in custody on another
Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry yesterday dismissed charges against a Nigerian national who was accused of having 430 grams of cocaine in his possession in a city hotel last year.
The charges were brought against Sulaiman Delodin by ranks of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU). It had been alleged that on February 23, 2011, three persons were arrested at Comfort Suites Hotel, located in Bel Air, Georgetown. The police said that they were acting on information when they entered a hotel room where Wilfred Reece, 52, Shontel Mansfield, 29, and Delodin were said to have been.
Yesterday’s hearing was scheduled for a decision, and indications were that there were some inconsistencies in the evidence produced. These resulted in the court’s dismissal of the matter.
Of the three persons who were charged, only the Nigerian had faced prosecution. Kaieteur News was told that prior to the court hearing, last year; the drug ranks had withdrawn charges against the other two persons.
At the initial court appearance, the prosecutor had stated that on the day of the incident, the ranks visited the hotel and were allowed entry into the room by Reece. He was in the company of the other accused. The court heard that as the officers proceeded to search the room, they observed a bag containing what was suspected to be, and later determined to be, cocaine.
Defence Counsel Hookumchand, who represented Reece, argued that his client was a taxi driver, merely collecting money that was owed to him. Attorney Nigel Hughes represented Delodin, and in addressing the court, explained that Shontel Mansfield was intimately involved with Delodin. She was said to have been visiting the man on the day in question.
Despite the dismissal, Delodin will be kept in state custody, since he was recently charged with drug trafficking which reportedly took place at Berbice – a matter which is now engaging the attention of the Berbice Magistrates’ Court.
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