The four men who were charged after Customs Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU) discovered $550M worth of cocaine hidden in dressed lumber, were each called upon yesterday to lead a defence as their trial continues before Magistrate Rushelle Liverpool at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court.
Facing a charge for aiding the trafficking of cocaine are Nazim Gafoor and his father Tazim Gafoor, both of Menzies Street, Windsor Forest, West Coast Demerara; motorbike racer, Stephen Vieira of 37 Middle Street, South Cummingsburg, Georgetown and former Customs Officer Sherwayne De Abreu, of 262 Street Eight, Section A Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.
CANU alleged that between March 1 and May 2, 2017 at a sawmill belonging to Narine Lall located at Lookout, East Bank Essequibo, the four men aided one Hakim Mohamed to traffic 84.986 kilograms of cocaine.
Following the closure of the prosecution’s case, led by Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) Prosecutor Konyo Sandiford, no-case submissions were made to the court by lawyers for the four defendants.
The four defendants are being represented by Attorneys-at-Law Everston Lammy-Singh, Glenn Hanoman, Latchmie Rahamat and Nigel Hughes respectively.
After careful revision of the evidence, Magistrate Liverpool ruled that a prima facie evidence was made out against the four men, and that the court will call upon each of them to lead a defence. They will commence doing so on December 11 and December 12, 2018 respectively.
Kaieteur News understands that the cocaine bust was made after CANU officials received a tip off on May 12, 2017. When the ranks acted, lumber with cocaine concealed within were being packed onto a truck.
CANU in a release said that ranks conducted a raid at the parapet in front of the premises of Mohamed and searched a truck laden with several pallets of 1×6 dressed lumber boards prepared for export. Several pieces of board were drilled randomly by the ranks and cocaine was unearthed.
The lumber was packed at a sawmill belonging to Lall and located at Lookout, East Bank Essequibo. The contents were to be transported to a wharf in Georgetown and then shipped to the United States of America, CANU stated.
CANU said that Vieira was listed on the shipping documents as a representative of the shipper, Lall.
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