$221 million fine, 5 years jail for businessman in huge drug bust
A 50-year-old furniture maker was Tuesday found guilty of trafficking 82 parcels of cocaine weighing 201 pounds and 98 parcels of cannabis weighing approximately 123 pounds, which were found by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) on a boat at a fishing complex located in Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara (ECD) on July 14, 2018.
Azim Baksh, known as “Bato”, of Phase One Good Hope, (ECD) was found guilty by Magistrate Alicia George at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s court.
He was sentenced to five years imprisonment and slapped with a $221,621,520 fine.
The wooden vessel has since been seized and condemned to the State.
Baksh’s first appearance in Court was on July 17, 2018, where he was represented by Attorney-at-law Bernard DaSantos, who told the court that the drugs were not found in the possession of his client neither was his client on the boat when the illegal substances were discovered.
The lawyer had noted then that his client was intercepted by CANU while driving his motor car on the Mon Repos Access Road.
The court heard that CANU ranks also searched Baksh’s home and arrested his wife, but she was later released.
CANU Prosecutor, Konyo Sandiford had explained that CANU ranks were on a surveillance exercise and observed Baksh along with another occupant on the boat with the drugs.
He then left the boat and was trailed by a CANU officer.