Ex-GDF rank remanded after found at massive ‘ganja’ camp by CANU

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A 23-year-old former member of the Guyana Defence Force was remanded to prison Monday on two charges after he was busted by ranks of the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) in a huge marijuana camp at St. Cuthbert’s Mission on the Linden/ Soesdyke Highway.

Shafeer Sanichar appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court on the East Coast of Demerara; he pleaded not guilty to the charges which alleged that he trafficked cannabis and cultivated prohibited plants on December 3, 2021.

The unrepresented man told the Magistrate that he was badly beaten by CANU officers while in custody; he denied that he was found at the farm.

The News Room, however, is in possession of photographs of Sanichar which were taken at the marijuana camp; he was shirtless at the time and no marks of violence were visible. He was also found with army clothing at the camp.

When contacted, Head of CANU, James Singh told the News Room that there were no marks of violence on Sanichar’s body at the time of his arrest or when he was taken into their custody.

A section of the camp filled with cannabis plants that was destroyed (Photo: CANU)

According to Singh, Sanichar did not make any allegations against the CANU ranks when he was in custody.

Singh believes that the allegations of brutality against CANU is an attempt to embarrass the unit especially given the fact that Sanichar was found among some 3,000 cannabis plants on 2.5 acres of land.

Singh said he was surprised to learn of the allegations made by the accused and he believes it is a “ploy to get the attention and sympathy of the court.”

The CANU head, however, noted that the accused was handed over to the police and on December 4 when ranks took food for him, he complained that he wanted to see a doctor.

He was taken to the CC Nicholson Hospital and he was examined. According to the medical report submitted to the Magistrate, Sanichar suffered from abrasions to both of his wrists and multiple superficial abrasions to his abdomen.

However, based on the nature and gravity of the charge, the Magistrate remanded Sanichar to prison until January 11, 2022; the matter was transferred to the Mahaica Magistrate’s Court.

Ranks of CANU swooped down at the location after they received intelligence about the narcotic operation. And, at the camp, Sanichar was discovered under a makeshift tent processing cannabis plants at one of the fields.

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