Trini smuggled cocaine to New York in goat meat

(Trinidad Express) Two Trinidad nationals were allegedly held by US Customs officers with close to TT$2 million worth of cocaine, four days apart, on Caribbean Airlines flights entering John F Kennedy Airport in New York.

The first Trinidadian was held with cocaine hidden in frozen goat meat in his suitcase while the other had it concealed in his pants crotch.

Court documents obtained exclusively by CCN, through the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, outlined in detail the arrest of both men in separate court documents.

Trinidadian Yudistir Ma­haraj, according to the documents, left aboard a Caribbean Airlines flight from Piarco International Airport, destined for JFK International Airport in New York, on March 20, and was caught by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) allegedly attempting to smuggle cocaine into that country.

According to court documents, Maharaj “did knowingly and intentionally attempt to import a controlled substance into the United States”.

Maharaj, according to the complaint, was selected for an examination by US Customs after arriving on Caribbean Airlines flight 520.

Special agent Michael Martinez indicated Maharaj “presented a checked-in, large black suitcase and a laptop bag for inspection.

When the officers examined the suitcase, they found three packages in the suitcase, which Maharaj claimed “in sum and substance contained frozen cooked goat meat. The three packages were X-rayed revealing a square-like object inside of each one”.

The CBP officers later took Maharaj into a private room and, according to Martinez in the court doc­ket, “drilled into the packa-ges and discovered a pow-

­dery-white substance, which later tested positive for the presence of cocaine.”

In total, 3,335.2 grammes of cocaine were seized from food containers in Maharaj’s luggage.

This works out to approximately just over three kilogrammes of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $1.2 million to $1.8 million.

Maharaj, in his statement, claimed he did not know the narcotics were in his suitcase.

Four days after that incident, another Trinidadian, Alister King, was also held for allegedly attempting to smuggle cocaine into New York after leaving Tri­nidad aboard Caribbean Airlines flight 520.

King, who was stopped for a routine search, according to US special agent Derek Bergman, “appeared nervous”.

King’s personal baggage was searched and it was during this search, King appeared nervous, Bergman stated.

Bergman revealed in the court document a full-body search was authorised and “a bulky item was discovered in the defendant’s groin area”.

Officers later found three packages containing a white, powdery substance —which was later tested and found to be cocaine.

The three packages weighed some 536.9 grammes, just over a kilogramme—with a street va­lue of TT$400,000 to TT$600,000.

King told the US authorities he “was supposed to be paid 30 per cent of the proceeds after the cocaine was sold”.

 

Latest in Regional News

default placeholder

Panama opens canal extension amid growth risks, cost battle

PANAMA CITY, (Reuters) – Panama opened the long-delayed $5.4 billion expansion of its shipping canal amid cheering crowds yesterday, despite looming economic uncertainty in the shipping industry and a heated battle over billions in cost overruns.

default placeholder

Brazil firm fired from T&T highway project

(Trinidad Express) Brazilian firm Construtora OAS has been fired from the $7 billion Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin. But even in the face of harsh criticism from Government, the embattled company is fighting back to defend its work on the stalled project and denying it abandoned the massive highway extension.

default placeholder

One dead, three hurt in T&T drive-by shooting

(Trinidad Express) Four people liming roadside near a birthday celebration were shot in a drive by attack in Carapichaima on Saturday.

default placeholder

Brazil’s Temer says women should retire earlier than men – paper

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer told local newspapers women should retire earlier than men, explaining why he did not support making a potential minimum retirement age equal for both sexes as his government tackles pension reform.

default placeholder

Barbados Education Minister deplores pricey graduation ceremonies

(Barbados Nation) Barbados’ Minister of Education Ronald Jones has rapped primary school principals for expensive graduation ceremonies that are unaffordable to some parents and forcing others to dig deep into their pockets.

default placeholder

Could Brexit vote be a preview of U.S. presidential race?

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – Britain’s stunning vote to leave the European Union, buoyed by a frenzy of nationalism and populist anger, was a crushing rejection of the political elite.

default placeholder

Venezuela dialogue could open way for international help – U.S. diplomat

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition could provide a platform from which they could request help from the international community, U.S.

President Anthony Carmona receives the report of the commission of enquiry into Clico from secretary to the commission, Judith Gonzales, at the Office of the President, St Ann's, yesterday.

Colman report knocks T&T Central Bank in Clico, HCU fiasco

(Trinidad Guardian) Deficiency in the Central Bank’s regulatory control of the insurance industry and the respective “visions” of CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey and Hindu Credit Union chairman Harry Harnarine have come in for criticism by chairman of the Clico/HCU commission of enquiry, Sir Anthony Colman.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: