2016 cocaine in plywood bust: Duo charged with attempting to bribe CANU officer

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…while one charged with trafficking almost 50 kilograms of narcotics

Two men-one of whom is charged with allegedly conspiring in 2016 to traffic 48 kilograms of cocaine concealed in plywood- have been charged with allegedly attempting to bribe an officer attached to the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU).

The men have been identified as Rajesh Kissoondyal called “Paddle”, 47, of  South Section Canal No.2 Polder, West Bank Demerara, and Shamkumar Hariprashad, 38, of Alliance Canal No.2 Polder.

Kissoondyal was hauled in for questioning in connection with the drug find two years ago at Lot 37 Yarrowkabra (Yarakabra) Linden Soesdyke Highway, East Bank Demerara.

He was recently arrested by CANU ranks while at a funeral last week. However, while in custody, it is alleged that he along with Hariprashad made the offer to the anti-narcotic agent for his release.

They were both charged for attempting to pervert the administration of the law and arraigned at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court today.

The charge alleged that the defendants on January 5, 2018 at Homestretch Avenue Georgetown, with intent to pervert the administration of the law under the Provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act Chapter 10:10 offered Lyndon Thompson, Officer of the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit the sum of $1, 495,000 for the release of Kissoondyal, who was in Custody pending an investigation into a trafficking in narcotics allegation.

They were both remanded to prison by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and will return to court on January 25.

The almost 50 kilograms of narcotics were unearthed on April 20, 2016

Meanwhile, Kissoondyal was additionally charged with the offence of trafficking 48.554 kilograms of cocaine which was contained in sheets of plywood.

The 47-year-old man was remanded to prison following his arraignment by Magistrate McLennan.

He will also return to court on January 25 on this offence.

The almost 50 kilograms of narcotics were unearthed on April 20, 2016, while agents from the Guyana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) Drug Enforcement Unit along with the Port Control Unit were examining the consignment of plywood at Yarrowkabra. The consignment of 5/8 inches of plywood was destined for Florida, USA.

It was reported that during the examination process, anomalies were detected, hence a decision was taken to search individual sheets of ply wood which amounted to 320. Upon checking, the cocaine was stashed in neatly carved holes in the plywood.

The GRA officials had become suspicious of the contents of the consignment based on the behaviour displayed by the consignee representatives during the examination process.

The men were reportedly trying to hurry up the examination process, claiming that they needed to get the shipment out as soon as possible.

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