Judge grants police more time with Cocaine-in-Kunds suspects

Police were yesterday granted three more days to detain the Enmore couple and their two teenaged children following the discovery on Tuesday of cocaine in metal receptacles used in Hindu functions.

Crime Chief Seelall Persaud when contacted told Stabroek News that a judge had given the police an extension to hold the quartet until Monday. Persaud later said that habeas corpus proceedings filed on behalf of another suspect who was detained on Thursday were denied. Efforts to contact the lawyer for the man – who Stabroek News understands is a well-known businessman – were unsuccessful.

According to Persaud, police have until Sunday, when the 72-hour pre-charge detention period expires.

Meanwhile, lawyer for the couple, Vic Puran, said that it was Chief Justice Ian Chang who granted the order. He told this newspaper that cases such as these are heard ex-parte.

He said that following the court proceedings, he saw a copy of the order and was shocked by what he read. According to the defence attorney the police did not tell the truth in the application they made to the court. He said that in the application, the deputy head of the Police Narcotics Branch swore that police arrested the couple and their three children at 5 pm rather than 2 pm. Puran opined that the timing would have been very important, pointing out that had it been stated that the family was detained at 2 pm, the order would not have been granted.

Puran earlier expressed disgust at the police’s refusal to disclose information to him. He said that just after midday, he visited the Narcotics Branch located at Eve Leary and repeatedly asked when his clients’ 72 hours in custody would expire. He said that the person who heads that unit in answering each time said that investigations are still ongoing.

He added that he was permitted to see his client once – three days ago – and ranks are “putting tremendous pressure on him to enter into a plea bargain without legal advice.”

He said that his client’s wife and two teenaged children are still in custody. The defence counsel added that the incarceration of the teens averaged to be ages 15 and 14 did not strike him as strange. “This is the new modus operandi of the police force,” he stressed.

‘Trying to make a living’

“They are trying to squeeze evidence out of my client… my client is eager to go to court because he will be able to establish his evidence. They want him to confess and implicate himself in something that he knows nothing about,” the lawyer added.

According to Puran, his client is distraught that his wife and children are also in custody. Puran alleged that ranks have told his client that if he does not confess, his wife and children will be charged.

Puran further stressed that his client is not the maker of the Hindu Kunds, and is only responsible for making them presentable for sale. He said that the religious items, which are very rough after being made, are brought to his client’s house to be sanded and painted. “He is just a man trying to make a living”, Puran stressed.

Meanwhile Stabroek News understands that police are still looking for a Lusignan car rental service owner, who it is believed transported the Kunds to and from the Enmore house.

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 there years. Their car was recently repossessed.

Residents and persons who knew the couple well expressed shock at the discovery. They said that the couple was “very quiet” and never give an indication that they were involved in illegal activity.

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