$500M cocaine bust: CANU seeking popular biker, businessmen


Ranks of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) are trying to locate popular local biker Stephen Vieira, West Coast Demerara businessman Tazim Gafoor, and sawmill owner Narine Lall for questioning in relation to a 187-pound cocaine bust.

Some 187 pounds of cocaine, carrying a street value of Gy $550M, was found concealed in lumber being prepared for shipment to the USA

According to reports, CANU officers received a tip about the operation and swooped down on a lumber yard at Lot 227 Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo, where they conducted a search on a truck that was laden with several pallets of 1×6 dressed lumber being prepared for export to the United States.

“Several boards were drilled randomly and revealed a whitish substance suspected to be cocaine… Discovered was a total of 84.986 kilograms of cocaine, equalling a landed US street value in excess of 550 million Guyana Dollars,” CANU said.

At the time, several workers at the lumber yard were taken into police custody, where they remained throughout the weekend, assisting with the investigations.

Tazim Gafoor
Naraine Lall

“The truck, its driver and porters were escorted to CANU Headquarters, where a detailed search of the cargo was completed. The said search revealed cocaine found in random boards scattered among genuine boards in each pallet, each of the compromised boards had a dugout cavity with vacuum sealed plastic packets containing cocaine pasted therein,” the anti-narcotics agency revealed.

In custody, Nazim Gafoor

Further investigations by the CANU ranks led to the arrest of popular race car driver Nazim Gafoor. He also remained in custody over the weekend, pending investigation.

A CANU statement issued on Sunday has indicated that Vieira, Lall, and the other Gafoor brother are wanted for questioning.

Stephen Vieira

CANU has said that Vieira is listed on the shipping documents as the representative of Naraine Lall, who is the shipper of the consignment. Searches for Vieira have thus far proven futile.


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