$5M cocaine bust: Fmr media worker now pleads ‘not guilty’; bail denied

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Zanneel Williams

Zanneel Williams, a 25-year-old former media worker who was attached to the Department of Public Information (DPI) and who initially pleaded guilty in relation to the $5M cocaine bust which was made on April 22, 2022 at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), has now changed her plea to not guilty.

Williams and her co-accused: 33-year-old Anil Sookhoo, a former officer of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and 27-year-old Shameka Caesar, a former Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), appeared at the Diamond/Grove Magistrates’ Court on April 25 before Magistrate Sunil Scarce.

Williams was remanded to prison until her sentencing on May 30 while Caesar and Sookhoo pleaded not guilty and were granted $750,000 bail each.

When the matter came up again today, Williams changed her plead to not guilty. However, bail was denied and the matter was adjourned to June 27, 2022 for disclosure.

Reports are that CANU officers intercepted Williams, who was at the time an outgoing passenger destined for the United States.

At the airport, CANU officers found suspected cocaine concealed within her carry-on bag.

A further search of the suspect, conducted at the CANU Headquarters, revealed a quantity of suspected cocaine strapped to her body.

The narcotics tested positive for cocaine, with a total weight of 9.628 kg (7.962 kg discovered in her luggage and 1.666 kg strapped to her body). The narcotics had a total street value of over G$5M but if the drugs were successfully transported to the US, CANU said the street value would have increased to USD$300,000 which is equivalent to G$62M.

Further investigations had led to the arrests of Sookhoo and Caesar.