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Guyana: Five charged in $24M cocaine bust

AFTER almost a week of investigations by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), five men were charged on Tuesday in connection with the over $24M worth of drugs found during a sting operation at Parika, East Bank Essequibo.

The men, Khemraj Lall, 39, of Zeelugt EBE; Marlon Lawrence, 36 of Felicity, East Coast Demerara(ECD) ; Rajendra Persaud, 47 of Liliendaal, ECD; Doodnauth Chattgroon, 36 of Zeelugt and Cleve Thornhill, all appeared before Magistrate Rushell Liverpool at the Leonora Magistrates’ court jointly charged with drug trafficking.

The men were charged with trafficking 35 kilogrammes of cannabis and 13.8 kilograms of cocaine on June 6, 2018 at Parika. All of the men, except Thornhill, denied the charge. Thornhill pleaded guilty and told the court that he was hired to transport the gas bottles from Charity to Parika in his boat, where he would later pass in another vehicle at the Parika wharf. He admitted to transporting the two plastic gas bottles, but he said he did not have knowledge of what was inside the drums.

Lall’s and Chattgroon’s attorney, Bernard Da Silva, told the court that his client was found seated in a motor car a short distance away from where the drugs were found.
CANU Prosecutor Konyo Sandiford told the court that CANU ranks on June 6, 2018 at Parika, East Bank Essequibo, intercepted the five men with the cocaine and cannabis stashed in false bottoms of two 15-gallon gas bottles.

According to reports, CANU was able to make the bust after receiving information regarding a shipment of drugs arriving at Parika from Charity in a speed boat.

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