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.


Guyana to host some ICC Women’s World Twenty20 matches

(ICC) Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and St Lucia were today announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as the venues for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2018, which will be staged from 9-24 November.

GAWU says more sugar workers for the breadline

The sugar union, GAWU today said that more sugar workers are to be made redundant.

University of T&T to shed 287 jobs

(Trinidad Guardian) Education Minister Anthony Garcia says the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) is of the view that the organisation is “overstaffed and to run the university efficiently it will mean they have to trim fat.” But former Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim is warning that the decision to retrench 287 staff members, will “compromise the quality of teaching and learning and administration at the university,” and may impact its accreditation with the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT).

Pegasus Hotel for major expansion

In preparation for Guyana’s emerging oil and gas sector and the bustling business usually synonymous with the industry, the Pegasus Hotel is expected to undergo a huge expansion which includes office and residential rental spaces.

Top Cop to resume duties today

Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud is to resume his duties today after spending approximately six months on leave, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan yesterday confirmed to Stabroek News.

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