Businessman held over timber cocaine released

A city businessman who was arrested in relation to last month’s 359 kilogramme timber cocaine bust at Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara has been released, Customs and Anti-Narcotics (CANU) boss, James Singh has confirmed.

Singh when contacted today also said that the investigation into the matter continues.

So far two persons have been charged and authorities are said to be looking for others including the mastermind behind the concealment of the drugs in hollowed out timber logs which were packed in a container for shipment to Holland.

Based on reports the container which was registered to Guyana Timber Products Inc. had been sitting at a city wharf for several weeks although abnormalities were picked up during scanning by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

CANU ranks were subsequently informed that there were things wrong with the container and it was escorted on February 19 from the wharf to the company’s Soesdyke headquarters, where each log in the container was searched. The hollow logs were subsequently found with packets of cocaine concealed inside. As many as 20 packets were found in a single log. In total 314 packets were discovered.

The drugs were destined for Holland, where the value is estimated at approximately US$25,000 ($5 million) per kilogramme.

Four persons, including a Dutch national were held in connection with the discovery but they were all later released without charge.

The matter was later sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice.

The DPP after reviewing the file which contained about 100 pages advised that Osmond Ghanie and Dominic Walsh be charged. The duo who at the time of the bust were employees of the timber company appeared before Magistrate Alan Wilson at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and were granted $350, 000 bail each.




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