Cocaine worth US$12 million ($2.4 billion) was discovered in a shipment of shrimp from Guyana to New York last week and a man has been arrested.
The New York Daily News reported that federal agents arrested Heeralall Sukdeo and he has been held without bail.
The newspaper reported that a drug-sniffing dog noticed something fishy about a shipping container that arrived at the Red Hook Terminal from Guyana last week and hunted down 268 kilos of cocaine stuffed inside frozen shrimp. The cocaine has an estimated street value of more than US$12 million ($2.4 billion), the newspaper reported.
According to a complaint by U.S. Homeland Security special agent Ryan Varrone unsealed on Wednesday in Brooklyn Federal Court, agents secretly removed the coke-filled crustaceans and tailed the container after it cleared customs on June 15. The container was delivered to an unidentified warehouse in Brooklyn on Monday where agents spotted Sukdeo “together with others … organizing and supervising the unloading” of the shipment, the complaint states.
Sukdeo, 59, the owner of Sukdeo Sons Fishing, a shipping company based in Queens, was arrested, but said he was innocent of any wrongdoing. “Sukdeo stated that he was present only in the vicinity of the truck containing the target shipment because he was curious about its contents,” Varrone stated in the complaint.
The Daily News reported that the shipment had originated in Guyana and was addressed to “Randolph Fraser” which is apparently Sukdeo’s alias, an employee told the feds. Sukdeo was ordered held without bail. Defence lawyer Andre Travieso said Sukdeo has never been arrested before. “I’m pretty confident that when all the facts come out, this was just a huge mistake,” Travieso told the Daily News, insisting that his client did not order the drug-crusted shrimp.