Cocaine in lumber…Customs Officer, businessman jailed for 5 years

The four accused: Sherwayne DeAbreu (jailed); Stephen Vieira (acquitted); Nazim Gafoor (acquitted) and Tazim Gafoor (jailed)

…2 co-accused acquitted

Businessman Tazim Gafoors and former Custom Offcier, Sherwayne DeAbreu who were both charged with aiding the trafficking of some 84.986 kilograms of cocaine in 2017 were on Thursday jailed for five years each and fined $178.4 million by Magistrate Roschelle Liverpool at the Leonora Magistrate’s Courts.

Gafoors along with his son, motorcar racer Tazim Gafoors, DeAbreu and motorcycle racer, Stephen Vieira were all arrested and were on trial for the $550M worth of cocaine found concealed in dugout cavities with vacuum sealed plastic packets in a consignment of dressed lumber.

However, the younger Gafoors and Vieira who were both granted bail in the matter were freed as a result of insufficient evidence.

The four accused: Sherwayne DeAbreu (jailed); Stephen Vieira (acquitted); Nazim Gafoor (acquitted) and Tazim Gafoor (jailed)

It was alleged that the four men aided Hakim Mohamed in trafficking 84.986 kilograms of cocaine between March 1 and May 2, 2017.

In handing down her sentence, Liverpool told the duo that Mohammed’s testimony proved that they indeed were involved in the crime.

She noted that the sentence is sending a strong message to society that drug trafficking is not to be accepted.

However, Attorneys for the two convicted men, Nigel Hughes and Glenn Hanoman revealed that they will be appealing the matter.

The $550 million drug discovery was made when Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) ranks swooped down on a Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo lumber belonging to wanted man Naraine Lall and unearthed the substance stashed in the lumber destined for the United States.


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