Businessman arrested over Haslington cocaine bust

-another being sought

Police yesterday arrested a well-known businessman and are on the hunt for the owner of a Lusignan car rental service in connection with Tuesday’s multi-million dollar cocaine bust at Block 20 Enmore/Haslington New Scheme, East Coast Demerara.

Crime Chief Seelall Persaud confirmed that the businessman was arrested in the city, but refused to reveal his identity or say whether he is the exporter of the Kunds, in which the cocaine was hidden, that investigators were seeking. “I am saying that another person was arrested in connection with the cocaine that was found in a house at Enmore,” Persaud said.

Sources told this newspaper yesterday that the man, who has close ties to a convicted drug trafficker now serving time in a US jail, was first fingered hours after the bust was made. It is unclear if he was identified by the couple who was arrested in the house where more than 60 Kunds with the cocaine were found, or if the link was made through customs records.

The businessman, this newspaper was told, is denying any involvement in the incident. Stabroek News was told that it is suspected that the car rental service proprietor used his vehicles to transport the Kunds to and from the house.

Persaud could not say when charges will be laid against the couple–a taxi service owner and his wife. The 72-hour period for pre-charge detention will expire this afternoon.

Meanwhile, a legal source said yesterday that the police are deliberately dragging their foot in relation to the investigation into this matter. The source said that the businessman’s stay in police custody would be short lived because of who he is.

The source pointed out that it is not hard for the police to find out who had previously shipped Kunds to Canada. He said that the police are checking for names and not for items shipped, which is the wrong approach to the investigation.

“That information is available at the click of a button,” the source said, while adding that he is certain that the police as well as customs officials know the identity of the exporter. “They (the police) have no desire to find that person,” the source pointed out.

Police had said in a statement that around 3pm, police ranks conducted a search on a house at Block 20, where they found a total of 72 kilogrammes of cocaine concealed in the false bottoms of a number of aluminum Kunds.

The police also found one hundred and twenty-five (125) 12-gauge shotgun cartridges and one hundred and fifty (150) .32 rounds.

Ranks had apparently visited the house earlier but no one was home. They kept a presence in the area until the occupants returned. When they moved in, they arrested the couple along with their three children.
This newspaper has since learnt that the couple was experiencing serious financial troubles and was in danger of losing their home, which has been under construction for the past here years. Their car was recently repossessed.