56 months jail, $11M fine for mother of 3 found guilty of trafficking cocaine in Boulanger

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Banmattie Persaud. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Banmattie Persaud of Grass Field, Lusignan, East Coast Demerara was sentenced to 56 months imprisonment by Magistrate Judy Latchman on Monday, March 09 for trafficking cocaine in Boulanger [Egg Plants].

The 39 – year – old mother of three was found guilty following a trial. She was also fined over $11M.

Persaud first appeared before Chief Magistrate, Priya-Sewnarine- Beharry on December 09, 2013 and denied the charge which stated that on November 30, 2013 at Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, she had possession of 12.330 kilogrammes of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

The matter was subsequently transferred before Magistrate Latchman for trial, where Persaud was represented by Attorney-at-law, Motie Singh.

In her defence, the single mother chose to give sworn statements and declined to call a witness on her behalf. She claimed that she was “set up” by someone she shared a relationship with and his friend.

During the ruling, the Magistrate told Persaud that she believed she had physical control of the substance and every opportunity to discover cocaine in the vegetable.

The Court found that she had intention of trafficking the illicit drug out of Guyana hence, she was found guilty.

Before handing down the jail term, Magistrate Latchman took into consideration the mitigating factors, quantum of the drug, the method used to conceal the substance and the need to prohibit others from contemplating such offence. She also took into consideration that Persaud has been incarcerated since 2013.

The Court heard that Persaud has been engaged in shipping vegetables and fruits to Canada for sometime, using a particular licensed exporter.