Canadian women held with cocaine in luggage

Two Canadians were discovered with a quantity of cocaine in their luggage at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri yesterday morning and later confessed to swallowing pellets containing the substance.

Stabroek News learnt from a CANU source last evening that the 20-year-old and 21-year-old females, outgoing passengers on a Canada-bound Caribbean Airlines flight (BW662) at the time, were held by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) at approximately 10.30 am.

Searches of the women’s luggage revealed a quantity of “artfully hidden cocaine”, the CANU source said. The Canadians were taken into CANU’s custody and subsequently confessed to swallowing “cocaine pellets”. However, the quantity of cocaine was not known up to press time yesterday.

The women, according to the source, were admitted to a private city hospital and up to early last evening had excreted approximately 70 pellets containing the illegal substance. They are the latest set of Canadians discovered attempting to traffic in narcotics.

Antonietta Saravella, 37; Oronella Saravella, 34; Giovanni Calabrese, 34; and Jean Claude Gouthier, 61; all of Quebec, Canada were discovered on May 12 at the airport with 9 kilogrammes, 89 grammes of cocaine in their possession. The substance was also hidden in their luggage.

The four had appeared before Magistrate Hazel Octive-Hamilton and pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful possession of narcotics. Octive-Hamilton had transferred the case to the Providence Magistrate’s Court where Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry subsequently sentenced one member of the quartet to four years and released the others.

Gouthier pleaded guilty to trafficking in over four kilogrammes of cocaine and was sentenced. His co-accused Antonietta Saravella, Oronella Saravella and Calabrese were all released after the charges were withdrawn.

Magistrate Sewnarine-Beharry confirmed on June 3 that the charges against the other three were withdrawn; this was based on the instructions given by the Director of Public Prosecutions.


Firm for Demerara crossing study not picked via tender

Following an opposition request for an investigation into the award of the contract for the feasibility study and design for the new Demerara River crossing to LievenseCSO, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure last night said that the Dutch firm was selected after the initial procurement process was annulled and it sought out consultants worldwide.

Cash-strapped GuySuCo to sell land to CH&PA

Facing a cash crunch, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) will be selling land to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Minister of State Joseph Harmon announced yesterday, while noting that the corporation has sought a bailout to the tune of $2 billion.

Children to be given priority in post-hurricane evacuation efforts

Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix yesterday announced that priority will be given to children in evacuation efforts organized by the Guyana Government to assist Guyanese who remain on hurricane-affected islands, as there remains the risk of an epidemic in some cases.

Four years’ jail for woman nabbed with cocaine at CJIA

A 59-year-old woman was yesterday sentenced to four years in prison and fined $6.5 million after she pleaded guilty to the possession of five pounds of cocaine, which she was trying to sneak on board a flight to New York.

Constitutional compliance needed, not reform – Nandlall

At present the need for constitutional compliance trumps the need for constitutional reform in Guyana.

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