Five remanded in CANU’s Parika drug bust

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Five men appeared at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court this morning before Magistrate Rushell Liverpool, charged with trafficking in narcotics.

It is alleged that on June 6 at Parika, East Bank Essequibo, Khamraj Lall, 39, of Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo; 36-year-old Marlon Lawrence of Felicity, East Coast Demerara (ECD); Rajendra Persaud, 47, of Liliendaal, ECD; Cleve Thornhill, and 36-year-old Doodnauth Chattergoon, also of Zeelugt, trafficked 35 Kilograms of cannabis and 13.8 Kilograms of cocaine.

While the others pleaded not guilty, Thornhill admitted to the charge. He told the Magistrate he was the captain of the boat that transported the men but did not know that there were drugs on his vessel.

Thornhill, who did not have a lawyer, further told the court that he was hired to transport the drums from Charity to Parika and was told to give the items to a taxi driver who was waiting at the wharf.

Cleve Thornhill [first from left] and the other accused
Magistrate Liverpool did not accept his guilty plea at this time and advised Thornhill to seek legal advice before the next court date.

They were all remanded to prison until July 3.

Prosecutor for the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), Konyo Sandiford told the court that on June 6, ranks from CANU intercepted the men with two 15-gallon plastic gas bottles with false bottoms, which hid the drugs inside.

The illegal substance that CANU intercepted

The bottles were found inside the trunk of a vehicle.

Attorney, Bernard Da Silva, who represented Lall and Chattergoon told the court that the drugs were not found in the possession of his clients.

Da Sliva pointed out that his clients were seated in a car several meters away from where the drugs were discovered.

The illegal substance in the plastic gas bottles

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