Four Canadian traffickers held at airport

-cocaine found in nine suitcases

Four Canadian nationals were arrested at approximately 4.40 am yesterday after 9 kilogrammes, 89 gramnes of cocaine was found concealed behind false walls in nine suitcases.

They were the latest drug couriers in a parade of them recently which law enforcement sources say suggests a desperate cash crunch in some rings abroad. Sources also suggest that with the depressed circumstances up north more and more willing recruits are available for narcotics runs. Sources say that the stashing of the cocaine yesterday in nine suitcases was indicative of a determined effort to avoid the detection of the cocaine by spreading it around.

Sources however said that law enforcement authorities at the airport were tipped off about the couriers and were waiting for them. The cocaine was found in false compartments in the suitcases and the quartet was taken into custody.

The two males and two females, who were outgoing passengers on a flight at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri are currently in police custody and charges will be laid shortly, police said.

The steady stream of drug couriers, sources say, points in the direction of a readily available supply of the drug on the local market and the likelihood that for every courier held, others are getting through.

Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson and Magistrate Hazel Octive-Hamilton have sentenced, remanded and granted bail to several persons recently who were charged with trafficking in narcotics. (See other story on page three.) United States-based Guyanese, Americans and citizens from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have appeared before the courts for trafficking in cocaine and heroin at CJIA. Inserting packed condoms in body parts, swallowing pellets, concealing in luggage, books and boxes are among the many methods used in attempt to traffic these narcotic substances.

American Ajar Bourne admitted to trafficking 1kg 22g of heroin when she appeared at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on May 8.  Four days earlier she was discovered at CJIA with two condoms, packed with the heroin.  Concern has been expressed over the discovery of heroin as this is not a drug manufactured here.

Sources say that this drug would most likely have been smuggled across the borders indicating the breadth of the narcotics network.

On the same day 19-year-old American Diamond R Boulware was remanded after being charged with trafficking in 1 kilogramme, 22 grammes of cocaine. Another American woman,  Christina Nicola Williams was charged on May 4th with trafficking in narcotics and remanded to prison when she appeared before Magistrate Octive-Hamilton at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.

Michelle Booker allegedly had over 1.9 kgs of cocaine in her possession for the purpose of trafficking on April 25 at the CJIA and was charged four days later. On the same day Matthew Busgith, alleged to have had 2g of cocaine in his possession at the airport on April 26, was remanded to prison.

A Surinamese drug mule was sentenced to four years imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine on April 8. The 22-year-old father of four, Joel Ofwintu admitted to having 795 g of cocaine in his possession for the purpose of trafficking at CJIA April 5. Jamaican national Richard Rudolph Gayle, of 114 Headley Park, Kingston who admitted swallowing over 100 pellets of cocaine was also sentenced to four years imprisonment on March 8.

Yvonne Caesar, a 59-year-old US-based Guyanese, was remanded to prison on January 29. It was alleged that on January 25 at CJIA Caesar, of 14 Bee Hive and 30 Nabaclis, East Coast Demerara, had in her possession 245g of cocaine.