Handwriting allegedly linked supervisor to ganja, arms find at airport

The handwriting of a junior supervisor attached to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri allegedly linked him to the 38 kilos of ganja, grenades and firearms bust at the airport.

Magistrate Hazel Octive-Hamilton on Tuesday remanded the male supervisor to prison when he appeared before her after listening to arguments from both sides. The prosecutor alleged that the man wrote the name of a passenger on two name tags which he placed on two bags with the prohibited items. His attorney Ronald Burch-Smith argued that he is a man with an outstanding record who has worked at the establishment for three years and had no contact with the passenger.

Trevor Kaioum, 21, a junior supervisor who resides at Timehri, East Bank Demerara pleaded not guilty to trafficking in narcotics, unlawful possession of explosives, unlawful possession of ammunition and firearms when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.

It is alleged that on October 26 at the CJIA, Timehri, EBD he trafficked in narcotics by exporting 38 kilograms, 638 grammes of cannabis. He is also accused of having two fragmentation grenades and two detonators, all being explosives. He allegedly had three .38 revolvers and 57 rounds of ammunition – 53 rounds of .38 ammunition, one round of .32 ammunition and three rounds of .357 ammunition without having a firearm licence.

The defence counsel told the court that his client is the sole breadwinner of his family and has been employed at the airport for three years with an exemplary record. The attorney said that the passenger whose name was on the bag was checked in by another agent and his client had no contact with the passenger. He stated that all the items were found in the passenger’s bag. The attorney requested reasonable bail for his client saying that he was not a flight risk and it would appear that anyone working at the airport is a suspect.

Police prosecutor Shellon Daniels objected to bail saying that the address which the attorney gave to the court as Kaioum’s differs from the address he had given when he was first taken into custody. She deemed him a flight risk and added that the circumstances under which the items were found also differ from her facts.

She told the court that Kaioum allegedly wrote the name of a passenger who was checked in by a senior supervisor on two name tags which he allegedly placed on the bags containing the items. She stated that a handwriting specimen was taken from both Kaioum and the other supervisor but it matched Kaioum. After it was discovered that extra bags were found in the passenger’s name, the passenger denied knowledge of any additional bags. The authorities became suspicious and searched the bag and discovered the prohibited substance and the weapons.

It was reported that the police at the airport last Friday morning intercepted two suitcases with the firearms, ammunition, two fragmentation grenades, two detonators and 38 kilogrammes of compressed marijuana. The suitcases were intercepted in the outgoing area while a flight destined for Barbados and Antigua was being processed. According to a police release, ranks of the police narcotics branch and the special constabulary on duty at the airport intercepted the suitcases which contained the items and took two men and a woman into custody to assist with the investigations. The woman was said to be on her way to Barbados. Reports are that the woman was an outgoing passenger on a LIAT flight and had already checked in her suitcase with her name tagged on it. She had boarded the aircraft when police officers discovered that two other suitcases with her name showed up. The suitcases were checked and the items noted in the charge against Kaioum were found inside. She was later released.

The magistrate remanded Kaioum and transferred the case to the Providence Magistrate’s Court for November 7.

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