British national, 21, gets four years jail for drug trafficking

Acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry sentenced a 21-year-old British national who ingested cocaine for the purpose of trafficking to four years jail and fined him $30,000 after he pleaded guilty to the charge.

According to the facts of the case, Nishit Nitin Patel, of Lot 18 Atlee Close, Thornton Heath England, on December 31, had 352 grammes of cocaine in his possession at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. He pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him. In his defence, he told the court, “Your Worship, my mother was having a very hard time back home. My mum was going to get kicked out the house because she could not pay the rent, so I decided to come down here and make some money to help her out.”

Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) Prosecutor Oswald Massiah said that on December 27, Patel travelled to Guyana under the pretext of a vacation and stayed at the Sunflower Hotel. On December 31, the defendant was returning to England and had checked in at the CJIA for a flight to London via Barbados but the flight was cancelled, forcing him to travel on a subsequent flight.

Massiah said that while Patel was passing through the lounge area to board that flight he was observed by the CANU officers who questioned him. Patel said he felt unwell and further admitted that he had ingested 29 pellets of cocaine while he was at his hotel. He was subsequently arrested and taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where an x-ray examination revealed that a foreign object suspected to be cocaine was in his stomach. He was admitted to the hospital and subsequently excreted the pellets which were weighed, tested and revealed to be cocaine. Massiah then told the court that records indicate that the accused had also travelled to Guyana in November.

In handing down the sentence, the magistrate noted that the defendant is at an age of accountability and knows the consequences of his actions. The court took into consideration the prevalence and seriousness of the offence, but noted that Patel saved the court’s time by admitting to the offence.


Firm for Demerara crossing study not picked via tender

Following an opposition request for an investigation into the award of the contract for the feasibility study and design for the new Demerara River crossing to LievenseCSO, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure last night said that the Dutch firm was selected after the initial procurement process was annulled and it sought out consultants worldwide.

Cash-strapped GuySuCo to sell land to CH&PA

Facing a cash crunch, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) will be selling land to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Minister of State Joseph Harmon announced yesterday, while noting that the corporation has sought a bailout to the tune of $2 billion.

Children to be given priority in post-hurricane evacuation efforts

Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix yesterday announced that priority will be given to children in evacuation efforts organized by the Guyana Government to assist Guyanese who remain on hurricane-affected islands, as there remains the risk of an epidemic in some cases.

Four years’ jail for woman nabbed with cocaine at CJIA

A 59-year-old woman was yesterday sentenced to four years in prison and fined $6.5 million after she pleaded guilty to the possession of five pounds of cocaine, which she was trying to sneak on board a flight to New York.

Constitutional compliance needed, not reform – Nandlall

At present the need for constitutional compliance trumps the need for constitutional reform in Guyana.

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