Businessman in custody for over 147lbs cocaine bust
By Leroy Smith
The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) has arrested a broker in connection with the discovery of over 147 pounds of cocaine, which was found in several containers of white rice, destined for Belgium.
Andre Poonai, the proprietor of Golden Grains Investments Limited, has been arrested by the Unit following a drug bust at the John Fernandes Wharf on Saturday, October 28.
On Friday, the CANU and the Container Control Program (CCP) commenced a search of five twenty foot containers which were loaded with White Rice on behalf of SF Trading BV, Nederland.
The search, which lasted several hours, uncovered more than 147 pounds of cocaine stashed among the rice. The shipment was expected to leave Guyana for Belgium, Western Europe from the John Fernandes Wharf, Water Street Georgetown and was packed by the company owned by Poonai.
Meanwhile, the News Room today found out that Poonai conducts no formal business or operation at Lot 111 Barr Street Kitty which is listed as his business address.
When the News Room visited the location, we found a female pensioner who indicated that she has been renting a section of her property for the past thirty years to the mother of Poonai. She further added that Poonai only visits the address to check on his mother.
The woman, who spoke with the News Room from her veranda, said that she would normally observe the man parking his vehicle in front of her gap.
According to the elderly woman, she only knew of her address being listed as the business of the Investment Company through the media. The woman told the News Room that at no point did the man or his mother approach her, as the owner of the property, to request permission to list or use her premises as a business address.
The company’s Facebook Page has Andre Poonai, a former student of the St. Roses High School, as the Managing Director. There is no activity on either the man’s personal Facebook Page or the Golden Grains Investment Facebook page to suggest that he or the company has a physical office.
There is also no listing of any physical address for the business. One source, who is familiar with the man, said that at one point he had portrayed himself as one of the persons who purchased a large milling company on the West Coast of Demerara. It is also reported that he is associated with a fish farm on the West Coast of Berbice.