Customs broker freed of ganja in pumpkins charge

-after prosecution fails to prove case

Malcolm Sonaram, the customs broker charged with trying to smuggle marijuana out of the country in pumpkins, was yesterday freed after the charge against him was dismissed.

Magistrate Judy Latchman, who presided over the trial at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, dismissed the charge of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking against Sonaram, after upholding a no-case submission made by his lawyer Sanjeev Datadin.

Sonaram, 38, of Lot 188 Garnett Street, Albouystown, was charged after officials discovered 19.93 kilogrammes of cannabis in pumpkins which were to be exported at the GNIC wharf.

Datadin, however, argued that the prosecution did not provide any evidence to prove that he was involved in the attempt to export cannabis.

Sonaram was arraigned on October 8, last year and it was alleged that he committed the offence between December 20, 2011 and January 10, 2012.

At his arraignment, Prosecutor Winneth Hubbard had said that the police received information and proceeded to conduct a search on a number of containers, when the leaves, seeds and stems, suspected to be cannabis, were found stuffed inside pumpkins.

At the time, Datadin had strongly stated that although Sonaram has been a broker for the past ten years, he was not responsible for handling the cargo.