Another Guyanese was busted last week in New York attempting to smuggle cocaine in cans of what he said contained mixed fruit and after the drugs were discovered he then claimed he was paid to smuggle what he thought were diamonds.
In a sworn statement seen by Stabroek News, Special Agent Edward Gonzalez said Colin McKenzie was busted on February 26 with approximately 10.365 kilogrammes of cocaine.
McKenzie had arrived at the John F. Kennedy Airport from Guyana on a Caribbean Airlines flight when he presented two suitcases. An examination of the smaller suitcase revealed a large can, which he said contained diced fruits.
However, the can felt unusually heavy and did not feel as though it contained liquid or syrupy material. As a result, officials x-rayed the can, which revealed material of a uniform composition rather than pieces of fruit. Further probing revealed a white powdery substance in the can, which later tested positive for cocaine. As a result, McKenzie was placed under arrest.
Authorities then inspected the second suitcase and found two identical cans and each contained cocaine. After waiving his rights, McKenzie told the authorities that he had been given the two suitcases by an individual in Guyana, who offered to pay him to hand over the suitcases to an unknown individual in the United States. He also stated that at the time he believed the suitcases contained diamonds.
McKenzie appeared before Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon and has been remanded to custody.
One day before McKenzie was arrested, Guyanese singer Mark Ferdinand was also busted when he travelled to the US to uplift two suitcases that contained 3.290 kilogrammes of cocaine from another man. Unknown to him, the man, who was named as the courier in court documents, was busted in Aruba and deported to the US, where he told officials Ferdinand had given him the suitcases to transport. Under the supervision of the authorities, the courier contacted Ferdinand, who indicated he would have travelled to the US to uplift the cases and he was promptly arrested at the airport.