Spaniard remanded over cocaine-in-keyboard at airport

A Spaniard who allegedly had 1.945kgs of cocaine in his possession at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri was yesterday remanded to prison after he appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine- Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) is alleging that on October 2, Vincent Serrano Castilla had in his possession 1.945kgs of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

The man who told the court that he came to Guyana to get more acquainted with the place pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

In presenting the facts Prosecutor Oswald Massiah told the court that on September 28 the defendant came to Guyana and on October 2 he checked in at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport as an intended passenger with Delta Airlines on Flight 384, via New York and  Belguim.  He had in his possession a cardboard box containing a digital keyboard. The prosecutor further stated that the CANU officers passed the box through the scanner and while doing so they noticed a darkish object within the keyboard. He added that the defendant’s attention was drawn to the observation of the officers and as a result the officers opened the keyboard in the presence of the accused.

Massiah said that the object which was seen in the scanner turned out to be what the officers suspected to be cocaine. The prosecutor further noted that subsequently it was difficult to communicate with the defendant because of the language barrier but with the assistance of an interpreter the defendant admitted that back in his country he had a matter before the court and  he was due to appear in a month’s time for that charge. The Spaniard also confessed that he is on bail for that charge which he disclosed as robbery under arms, the prosecutor said.

After listening to the facts presented to the court the magistrate told the unrepresented Castilla that bail was refused and the matter adjourned until November 4.

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