Businessman Barry Dataram, his young reputed wife, and their two friends were hauled into the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, yesterday after authorities linked them to a large quantity of cocaine discovered during a bust last Thursday.
The cocaine was reportedly found when ranks from the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit stormed a house in Diamond, East Bank Demerara.
Dataram, also known as ‘Mogotani’ or Kevin Dataram, of 13 Vriesland, West Bank Demerara; his reputed wife, Anjanie Boodnarine, 19, of 79 Patentia, Housing Scheme, West BankDemerara; Komal Charran, 20, of 265 Belle West, West Bank Demerara; and Trevor Gouveia of Best Village, West Coast Demerara, were all remanded to prison, after they pleaded not guilty to a drug trafficking charge.
The charge was read to them by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.
On April 16, last, at 661 Fourth Avenue, Block X Diamond, East Bank Demerara, they allegedly had 129.23KG of cocaine in their possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Assistant Superintendant of Police, (ASP) Stephen Telford, told the court that Dataram and Boodnarine share a common law relationship and reside at the Diamond address. He said that Charran and Gouveia claimed to be friends of the couple. He added that Dataram is a Guyanese by birth but has obtained US citizenship.
Telford said that on the day in question, ranks from the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU) swooped down on the house and conducted a search in the presence of the defendants. During the search they unearthed the illicit drug. The defendants were then told of the offence, arrested and charged.
Attorney, Glenn Hanoman made a bail application on the defendants’ behalf. He argued that Dataram and his reputed wife do not reside at the address given by the Prosecution.
The lawyer pointed out that Boodnarine had just arrived at the premises when the police conducted their raid. He added that Dataram and Boodnarine have an 11-month -old child together and at the time of the visit she was taking the child to see the father. Hanoman suggested that the young woman “was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
He contended that the house in which CANU allegedly found the drug is accessible to numerous persons. However, his submission became intense when he opined that Barry Dataram continues to be abused and is suffering at the hands of law enforcement officers who are trying to secure a conviction for him. He stressed that they are trying to “sink his client.”
Additionally, the lawyer stated that the judicial system continues to mistreat Dataram. Hanoman has since indicated that he has continuously advised the man not to leave Guyana, since it is the safest place for him to live.
Hanoman reiterated that it is unlikely for the court to grant the defendants’ their pre trial liberty unless special circumstances are advanced. He however, pleaded with the Magistrate to consider bail for his female client.
The lawyer informed the court that Boodnarine’s father is dead and that her mother is currently overseas. He stated that the young woman’s child is still breast feeding and because of her being imprisoned, the child is now left in the care of her friend.
Moreover, Hanoman emphasized that his clients were kept in custody beyond 72 hours. He noted that the defendant should have been brought before the court the day after the offence was allegedly committed, hence he questioned, why they were kept beyond the allotted time.
But Assistant Superintendant of Police, Stephen Telford justified the arrest and detention. He explained that investigations are still ongoing, while objecting to bail. He pointed out that other charges are likely to be instituted against the defendants. Telford also made reference to the amount of cocaine they were attempting to traffic.
They will make their next court appearance on May 7.
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