‘Paddle’ remanded for cocaine in plywood; friend charged with bribing CANU officer

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A Canal #2, West Bank Demerara farmer appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, where he was charged in connection with a quantity of cocaine found in plywood.

Rajesh Kissoondyal known as “Paddle” was not required to plead to the charge, which alleged that between April 1, 2016 and April 21, 2016, at Lot 37 Yarrowkabra Linden Soesdyke Highway, East Bank Demerara, knowing or having reason to believe that parcels, packages or sheets of plywood contained narcotics, to with 48.554 kilograms of cocaine.

Meanwhile, Kissoondyal along with 38-year-old Shamkumar Hariprashad, also of Canal #2, were jointly charged with bribing a Customs Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU) officer.

Particulars of the charge alleged that in January 2018, at Homestretch Avenue Georgetown, they offered Lyndon Thompson, a CANU Officer, the sum of $1, 495,000 for the release of Kissoondyal who was in police custody.

They pleaded not guilty. ‎Kissoondyal was represented by Attorney, Mark Waldron while Hariprashad was represented by Keoma Griffith.

CANU Prosecutor, Kunyo Sandiford opposed to Kissoondyal being granted bail; she noted that he was on the run from the police and was recently arrested while at a funeral.

‎Sandiford also objected to Hariprashad being granted his pre-trial liberty on the grounds that he might tamper with witnesses and hinder the prosecution’s case.

The Magistrate ruled in the prosecution’s favour and remanded the duo until January 25, 2018.

According to reports on April 21, 2015 at a sawmill on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway, members of its Drug Enforcement and Goods Examination Unit along with the Port Control Unit (PCU) were in the process of examining a consignment of 5/8-inch plywood destined for Florida in the United States of America (USA) when a quantity of cocaine concealed between the approximately 320 sheets of plywood was found.

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