Laboratory tests on the Goldfinger-brand sweets, one of which was consumed by three children at White Water, North West District, resulting in them falling ill, have confirmed the presence of cocaine and the police are trying to determine how it ended up in the possession of a shop owner there.
Police said in a press release yesterday that “a number of the sweets that were seized by the police from a vendor and children at White Water on Sunday following reports that three children who had eaten the sweets had shown unusual reactions, have tested positive for the presence of cocaine.”
When contacted, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud said that no arrests have been made. Police have already taken a statement from the shop owner and a Kumaka businesswoman from whom several sealed packs of what was supposed to be the locally produced sweets were bought.
Persaud yesterday clarified that the cocaine was not in the sweet as had been reported but rather the cocaine was inside the wrapper instead of the sweet. According to what Persaud explained, it would appear as though the sweets were removed from their wrappers and replaced with cocaine, which was moulded to look like it.
He said that from all indications what was sold to the children was not intended for them.
Asked if he has ever come across this before, Persaud said that “we come across all sorts of concealment.”
Meanwhile, one of the children’s relatives told Stabroek News that they are still unwell. The relative said that the youngest child, who is 11, appears to be the worst affected as she has a high fever and is not consuming food. She said the child was unable to attend school.
The other two girls, both 13 years, also remained home. They were in weakened states and continued to suffer bouts of stomach pains. Plans are being made to take the children back to the Mabaruma Hospital for treatment. They were rushed there on Sunday night and were kept overnight for observation before being released. They were given injections and saline.
The relative told Stabroek News that transportation to take them on the 15-mile journey to Mabaruma is difficult as it will cost them $10,000 one way. She stressed that at the moment finances are not available but they would be making every effort to get the money so that they can travel today.
The woman said too that from all indications the shop owner had no knowledge that cocaine was in the sweets sold to the children. She said that when she approached the man at the police station on Sunday night, he was teary eyed and apologised. “He said that he was sorry for what had happened and how it could have been poison,” the woman told Stabroek News.
The shop owner, she said, has since reopened his business, which is one of several dry goods shops in the community.
Based on what this newspaper had been told, the children were sent to the shop and among the purchases they made were $80 worth of sweets. The youngest one was the first to eat one but when she bit it she noticed that it tasted bitter and smelt funny. She then asked the other girls to take a taste of the same sweet and they had the same reaction.
It was shortly after this that their tongues started to get numb and a weak feeling overcame them. Stabroek News was told that the girls’ eyes had a reddish colour. They lost consciousness on their way to the Mabaruma Hospital.