Rajesh Kissoondyal, a West Bank Demerara farmer and his friend, Shamkumar Hariprashad have been remanded to prison on charges related to trafficking in cocaine.
The matter came up before Chief Magistrate Ann Mc Lennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
According to the indictment, Hariprashad, 38, of 67 Alliance, Canal Number Two Polder, West Bank Demerara, was charged with intent to pervert the administration of the law, in that he offered Lyndon Thompson, an officer of the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) $1,495,000 for the release of his friend Rajesh Kissoondyal called “Paddle,” who was in custody pending an investigation into a trafficking in narcotics allegation against him.
Meanwhile, Kissoondyal, 47, of 12 South Section, Canal Number Two Polder, West Bank Demerara, was charged with procuring a narcotic for the purpose of trafficking.
The charge read that between April, 1 2016 and April, 21 2016 at 37 Yarrowkabra, Linden Soesdyke Highway, East Bank Demerara, Kissoondyal, knowing or having reason to believe that parcels, packages or other things (in this case sheets of plywood) contained narcotics – 48.554 kilograms of cocaine, handled same with a view of procuring the commissioning of trafficking in the said narcotics.
The men stood side by side in the prisoners’ dock and pleaded not guilty as the charges were read to them. Attorneys Keoma Griffith and Mark Waldron applied to the Court for the men to be granted their pre –trial liberty. However, CANU Prosecutor Konyo Thompson opposed the bail application. She told the Court that she believes that the men are flight risks.
The Prosecutor explained that her contention is based on the fact that the number one accused (Kissoondyal) had been on the run since 2016, for his alleged involvement in a 100-pound cocaine bust at a sawmill along the Linden Soesdyke Highway.
Thompson told the Court that Kissoondyal was recently arrested at a funeral by CANU who received a tip-off about his whereabouts. And even after that, when he was in CANU’s custody at its headquarters, a bribe was offered to a CANU agent to free him.
The CANU Prosecutor emphasized that the two men had already proven that they have the ability to interfere with possible witnesses. As such, bail was denied and the men were remanded to prison. They will return to Court in two weeks for continuation of the case.
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