Vryheid’s Lust man incited wife to smuggle cocaine – court told

- wife admits to trafficking offence, husband denies charge, both remanded

A young couple was yesterday remanded to prison after being charged in relation to last week’s drug bust at the Ogle airport where a mother of two was caught attempting to smuggle cocaine to Barbados.

The court of Magistrate Zamilla Ally-Seepaul heard that on June 15 at the Eugene F Correia Inter-national Airport, Angelica Forde, 21, of Lot 100 B Mora Street, Vryheid’s Lust, had in her possession 3.040 kilos of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. Forde, a mother of two, pleaded guilty when the magistrate read the charge to her.

Meanwhile, the young woman’s husband, James Forde, 24, was also charged in relation to the matter. The charge states that between May 1 and June 15, he incited Angelica to traffic 3.040 kilos of cocaine. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) prosecutor Konyo Sandy Forde told the court that Angelica was an outgoing passenger at the airport when she was seen acting suspiciously. A female CANU officer approached her and took her into a room where she was searched. White packets suspected to be cocaine was discovered strapped to her body. Forde said that Angelica was then cautioned and taken to CANU headquarters. When the substance found on the mother of two was weighed, it amounted to 3.040 kilos of cocaine which has a street value of $8.2 million.

   Angelica Forde
Angelica Forde

Attorney-at-law Mark Conway entered an appearance for the couple. He pleaded with the magistrate to be lenient in sentencing Angelica since she is young and obtained eight subjects at her high school exams. He told the magistrate that the mother of two is a first offender and if granted a lesser sentence, she can return to society and be a productive person. Conway argued that since the incident, Angelica has been very remorseful.

Upon being given a chance to address the court, Angelica said she was sorry and stated that the illegal substance was hers. She told the court that her husband had nothing to do with the drugs the officers found on her.

James Forde
James Forde

The CANU prosecutor, however, argued that she is not buying the act of the young woman since she showed no remorse when she was caught at the airport. The prosecutor said she has witnesses to prove what Angelica’s behaviour was when she was caught.

Conway, in his bail application for Angelica’s husband, urged the court to grant bail in a reasonable sum. The attorney asserted that the prosecution’s case against his client is based solely on the wife’s accusation that her husband is also involved in the trafficking of the drugs. Conway declared that when Angelica was given a chance to speak to the court, she cleared her husband of any involvement.

However, the prosecutor objected to James being released on bail. She said that he is charged with aiding and abetting and should not be released.

After hearing the arguments, Magistrate Ally-Seepaul remanded the couple to prison. James’ matter was adjourned until July 25, for report and fixture, while Angelica’s case was adjourned to today for sentencing.

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