Acting on a tip-off, a team of police officers yesterday afternoon swooped on a house at the Haslington New Scheme, on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), where they discovered more than 100 kilos (200 lbs) of cocaine stashed in Hindu religious items being prepared for shipment to Canada.
The cocaine, estimated to have a street value of more than $600M, may be linked to a drug find at the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) main branch in the city yesterday, in which more than three kilos of cocaine in total were discovered in three letters addressed to persons in the Netherlands.
A quantity of 9mm ammunition was also taken away by the lawmen during the police operation.
According to reports, sometime after 4pm yesterday afternoon, police from CID headquarters at Eve Leary travelled to a house owned by a businessman, who builds and sells Hindu kunds (square metal utensils used to burn items during religious ceremonies) and carried out a search of the man’s home during which the drugs were discovered. The businessman, his wife and their three teenaged children were taken into custody following the discovery.
Officers attached to the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) were subsequently informed of the drug find and travelled to Haslington to carry out their own investigations.
A source noted that the suspect was being interrogated at Eve Leary last evening and while he has implicated a prominent businessman as the person who buys the items from him and ships them overseas, he has refused to name the individual. Police were last evening making attempts to determine whether the illegal substance was being shipped by sea or air.
A source close to the investigation told Stabroek News that the police received a tip-off sometime during the morning hours yesterday and travelled to the Haslington address during the day but no one was at home. The house was kept under surveillance during the day and the ranks waited until the occupants were at home to move in on them. Sometime after 4pm yesterday, residents told this newspaper, three van loads of police officers moved in on the house while the area close to the house was cordoned off.
The police unearthed the drugs in the false bottom of the kunds, which were being prepared by the businessman for shipment to Canada. The source noted that the items varied in sizes and that the metal items contained a reinforced bottom in which the drugs were stashed.
The drugs were still being weighed last evening to determine the exact amount.
Meantime, a source told this newspaper yesterday that officers attached to the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), backed by CANU ranks, discovered cocaine in three envelopes which contained greeting cards addressed to persons in the Netherlands. A similar find was made the day before, in which two greeting cards were mailed to an address in Canada.
In yesterday’s find, the cocaine was stashed in the inside of the cards, which remained in the plastic covering in which they are sold.
It was noted that the envelopes were placed at mail boxes at the Kitty and Bourda post offices over the past several days, beginning on Friday.