Shop owner on gun charge was set up by rival, court told

A shop owner was on Friday placed on bail after he denied charges that he had an illegal gun and ammo and had threatened a fellow trader with them.

A city court heard that on May 3rd, at Meyuni Landing, Cuyuni River, Essequibo, Corneil Isaacs, of Charlestown, Georgetown, had in his possession a .38 revolver as well as five matching rounds without being the holder of a firearm licence.

On the same day, it was alleged that, armed with the gun, he exhibited threatening behaviour towards Phillip Roopchan. Isaacs pleaded not guilty to the three charges that were read against him by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.

Representing Isaacs was attorney Glenn Hanoman, who told the court that the charges against his client, who is a former policeman, stemmed from a business rivalry with Roopchan, who is in the same business in the Essequibo.

Corneil Isaacs
Corneil Isaacs

According to Hanoman, after a quarrel between the two, Roopchan went to the police with a loaded gun, telling them that it belonged to Isaacs and that he had also threatened him. According to the lawyer, Isaacs was subsequently arrested by the police and his shop has been closed, allowing Roopchan to draw all of his client’s sales. The lawyer argued that the charges against his client were farfetched and he should be granted bail under the circumstances.

Police Prosecutor Jones Deniro objected to bail but also confirmed that it was indeed the virtual complainant, Roopchan, who brought the gun to the police, telling them that he and Isaacs had a scuffle and the man pulled the gun from his waist. He added that Roopchan said that he somehow managed get hold of the gun, which led to him bringing it into the station and making a report.

As a result of the submissions, bail was set for Isaacs at $220,000 by the Chief Magistrate, who transferred the matter to the Bartica Magistrate’s Court for May 18th.

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