US-based Guyanese given three years hard labour for cocaine possession

By Denyse Renne of the Trinidad Express

A US-based Guyanese woman, who was held with TT$1.2 million in cocaine at the Piarco International Airport on Saturday, has been sentenced to three years hard labour.

Devika Lakhram, 36, who resides in Florida, pleaded guilty before Magistrate Debra Quintyne in the Arima Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The court heard that Lakhram and her 34-year-old brother, Anand Lakhram, were at Piarco about to board Caribbean Airlines Flight BW 480 destined to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when they were searched by detectives of the Organised Crime Narcotics and Firearms Bureau (OCNFB).

The court heard that OCNFB detectives, in an exercise led by Senior Superintendent Simon Alexis, found three kilogrammes of cocaine strapped to Devika Lakhram’s body. They allegedly also found two kilogrammes of cocaine strapped to Anand Lakhram’s body.

Anand Lakhram pleaded not guilty and was denied bail. His matter was adjourned to January 26.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, Guyanese national Devon Wickham had his drug possession matter adjourned to January 26, after being charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

Wickham, 34, a taxi-driver, also appeared before Magistrate Quintyne.

The court heard that Wickham was about to board BW flight 416 destined for St Maarten, when OCNFB detectives searched his suitcase and allegedly found 2.6 kilogrammes of cocaine in the lining. The drug has an estimated street value of TT$1 million.

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