Coast guardsman on cocaine trafficking charge

-after drugs found in car at airport

A member of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard was yesterday remanded to prison after being charged with possession of over four kilos of cocaine allegedly found in his car at the airport.

Zegga Phillips was found to be in possession of the substance on April 30, in the parking lot of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, the court of Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry was told.

Phillips, 20, of 440 Kuru Kuru, pleaded not guilty to the charge that he had 4.342 kg of cocaine possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Zegga Phillips
Zegga Phillips

His lawyer, Patrice Henry, said Phillips was in fact hired by someone to go to the airport to pick up a passenger coming in on a flight. Henry said that when the two arrived at the airport, the customer exited the car, leaving his bag in the vehicle. Shortly after, a Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) officer who identified himself to Phillips related to him the information he had received about a silver car in the parking lot that was suspected to have narcotics. According to Henry, Phillips then willingly allowed to officer to search the car. The officer discovered the black and blue bag in the back seat and opened it in front of Phillips, revealing the narcotics.

Henry said Phillips at this point asserted that he was unaware of the presence of this bag in his vehicle and offered to call the customer he was waiting on. This request was however refused and Phillips was placed under arrest.

Henry, in making his bail application, asked that these facts be considered and also asked that it be noted that Phillips was not attempting to board any flight at the time of his arrest.

Bail for Phillips was, however, refused in the light of details presented by Prosecutor Oswald Massiah. According to Massiah, Phillips, who is a member of the Coast Guard, is well known for using his private car for hire, which is an offence. He further stated that the car belonging to Phillips was parked in the CJIA parking lot and it was observed that no one else had entered or exited the car.

Massiah also said that when the CANU officer approached Phillips and asked him to search the car, Phillips responded by claiming he was a soldier and flashed a badge. Massiah said that in the black and blue bag were two plastic bags containing four “bricks” of cocaine. When the cocaine was discovered, Massiah said, Phillips then told the officer, “Buddy we could wuk something out.” He was, however, subsequently arrested.

Massiah asked the court to note that flight BW526, a direct flight to the United States, was scheduled to take off around the same time as the discovery.

Phillips will appear at the Providence Magis-trate’s Court on May 15.

 

 

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Brian Tiwarie blasts Ramotar administration over specialty hospital project

Businessman Brian Tiwarie yesterday rejected claims that his company had taken possession of containers belonging to the fired Specialty Hospital contractor and he accused the Donald Ramotar administration of grossly mismanaging the project.

The Kato school

Multimillion-dollar Kato school unsafe for children

The Kato Secondary School, which was constructed at a cost over hundreds of millions of dollars, remains unoccupied because it is not safe for children, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said yesterday.

default placeholder

Repairs underway to shifting Hope Canal bridge

There is a major structural fault with the $350m bridge constructed across the Hope Canal,  East Coast Demerara, according to Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who yesterday said the structure has repeatedly shifted away from the road.

default placeholder

National Assembly approves $800m in supplementary spending

After hours of deliberations, the National Assembly last night approved almost $800 million in extra-budgetary spending including on 6000 solar panels to “green” State House and an army exercise aimed at testing the preparedness of the Guyana Defence Force which was done last year.

default placeholder

Brian Tiwarie planning to establish newspaper

Prominent businessman and owner of BK International, Brian Tiwarie, is planning to open his own newspaper company here and has started the process.

default placeholder

Probe underway into stealth flights from Ogle

An inquiry has been launched into the circumstances surrounding how two planes left Guyana illegally from the Eugene F Correia International Airport (EFCIA) last Saturday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said yesterday.

default placeholder

Finance Minister says unsure of UG ‘emergency’ funding needs

Minister of Finance Winston Jordan has said that he is unsure of the ‘emergency’ funding the University of Guyana needs to reputedly prevent a collapse of the  institution.

default placeholder

Ministry welcomes removal from US human trafficking watch list

The Ministry of Social Protection yesterday welcomed the latest classification on Trafficking in Persons (TIP), which has seen the country coming off the watch list for TIP, that is, moving from Tier 2 on the Watch List to just Tier Two.

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: