Man denies renting room after drug raid unearths ganja

A man was arraigned yesterday on a drug trafficking charge after police found 6.860 kilos of cannabis in a room that he was allegedly renting.

But Ronald Satamby’s lawyer denied that his client was actually renting the room at the Lot 64 James Street Albouystown property where the ganja was found, explaining that he only frequented the bar below.

However, after Prosecutor Vernette Pindar said there was evidence linking Satamby to the room, including the landlord’s admission that he paid rent, Satamby was refused bail by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

Peter Hugh, counsel for Satamby, insisted that his client frequently visited the liquor store beneath the room in which the substance was found, but he was not actually a tenant there.

He claimed that Satamby resides at Lot 22 Calendar Street, Albouystown. He said that while his client was not at the room at the time the cannabis was found, he decided to go the police after learning of the discovery.

At all times since, Hugh said, Satamby has denied any knowledge of the substance. This, he stated, amounted to special circumstances for bail to be granted to his client.

But Pindar submitted that on June 26, police ranks went to the room and in the presence of one occupant searched and discovered the cannabis. Satamby was not present at the time of the search, she admitted, but she added a birth certificate, prescribed medication and photographs found in the room linked him to it. She said too that there is a rent receipt which showed Satamby occupied the room up to the end of June.

Pindar told the court that a confrontation was done by the police with the landlord of the premises, during which she said Satamby paid her the rent.

However, the man told the court he denied having done so and Hugh advanced that a receipt could be prepared by any third party. Hugh also said that even if Satamby was a tenant, “he was not the sole one,” so a case of possession was not made out by the prosecution in their submission.

After the hearing the submissions, the Magistrate ordered investigations to be completed and remanded Satamby to prison until July 15.

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