Cops intercept suitcases with four lbs cocaine at airport

A Guyanese woman was on Tuesday arrested at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri by police after just over two kilogrammes of cocaine was found packed into the false bottoms of her two suitcases.

According to a release from the police, ranks from the force’s narcotics branch on Tuesday around 1:45 pm intercepted two suitcases with false bottoms through the scanning machine at the airport while checking an outgoing flight.

Upon investigating, the ranks discovered that some eighteen packets of cocaine with a total weight of two kilogrammes and 90 grammes were found packed in the false bottoms.

The ranks then arrested the woman and she remains in custody assisting with the investigation.

Tuesday’s success by the police comes on the heels of a false tip on Saturday which saw authorities at the airport taking passengers off a Delta flight only to discover that there were no drugs in suspect rolling pins.

The recent bust also means that the scanner at the airport is working, as was indicated by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the airport, Ramesh Ghir, and as such suggests that some persons working at the airport deliberately allowed a huge sum of cocaine to slip through recently. The cocaine was later incepted at the JFK airport.

It was on January 12 that 50 pounds of cocaine were discovered at the JFK International Airport, New York packed in a pink suitcase. Dorothy Sears had checked-in the suitcase at the Timehri airport and she was arrested on arrival in the US. Sears had admitted that she had checked-in the pink suitcase and stated that she had been instructed by an individual in Guyana not to pick up the bag.

Four persons were subsequently charged in Guyana with conspiring with Sears but two of them – Maurice Smith and Roderick Peterkin – have since had their charges discharged.

And less than five months later on June 2, a woman, Chandanie Segobind, checked in a suitcase filled with cocaine packed in Kerry Gold milk packets, which was not detected by Timehri airport security, the police or the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU). The suitcase filled with cocaine left the airport on a Delta flight and was intercepted at the JFK Airport.

Head of CANU James Singh in commenting on this latest case had said that suspects have been identified but no arrest has yet been made.

Commissioner of Police Henry Greene had later said that there is a problem with the camera footage at the airport on that day as while authorities were able to observe two males handing the suitcase to the woman there is no footage of what happened to the suitcase. Sources have indicated that since the scanner was working it was highly unlikely the suitcase went through as it would have definitely been picked up by those manning the machine.

The two busts propelled the local authorities into action with the first step being to test the sniffer dogs at the airport and they found out that the dogs were not detecting the drugs. Greene has since indicated that the force would be acquiring new dogs next year. Authorities also had a one- day session with all the stakeholders at the airport.

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