A businessman who said that he had been unaware of 10 grammes of cannabis hidden within tablets and found in his possession was granted $40,000 bail when he made his first appearance in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Forty-seven-year-old Randolph James of 55 Albert Street, Lodge emphasized that he was an innocent victim after his possession of narcotics charge was read to him by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry. James had initially pleaded guilty to the charge but, after being informed that the crime carried a penalty of at least three years imprisonment, he quickly recanted.
In his defence, the accused said that he owned a business in the interior and had been in Georgetown when he received a request from some of his workers to have some items sent into the area.
He complied and received the promised package from a person in Georgetown. However, he told the court, he had not checked the contents of the package and was unaware of the illicit substance, concealed within tablets, until he was apprehended by the police.
The man said that if he had known that the package contained marijuana he would never have accepted it.
When questioned by the magistrate why he had not checked the content of the package, James explained that the police, who apparently had him under surveillance, had pounced upon him the moment he received it.
Prosecutor Michael Grant raised no objections to bail and James was granted it. He will make his second appearance on April 20.