$550M cocaine trial of racers commences

Witness says accused helped hide parcels

Hakeem Mohamed, the key witness in the trial of  four men in relation to $550 million in cocaine discovered hidden in lumber, yesterday testified at the commencement of the trial at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Rochelle Liverpool.

Well known motorbike racer Stephen Vieira, 33, of Middle and Cummings Streets, Georgetown; along with Sherwayne De Abreu, 35, of Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara; and motor racers Tazim Gafoor, 45, and his son, Nazim Gafoor, 20, of Windsor Forest, West Coast Demerara were charged jointly on May 31.

The men are accused of having in their possession 84.9 kilos of cocaine between March 1 and May 12, 2017 at Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo.

During the trial, Mohamed led by CANU’s Prosecutor, Konyo Sandiford detailed the events leading up to the bust, to the court. Mohamed told the court that he assisted Tazim in hiding the parcels of cocaine in the wood as it was being prepared to be shipped out of the country.

He also stated that on the day of bust by CANU, the truck containing the cocaine stashed lumber was parked at his residence.

Mohamed, after testifying, was cross-examined by one of the accused’s attorney Glen Hanoman. When the trial continues today, he is expected to be further cross-examined by the other defence attorneys Latchmie Rahamat, Dexter Todd and Nigel Hughes.

On May 12, CANU conducted a raid and found the drugs concealed in dressed lumber at Mohamed’s premises at Lot 227 Zeelugt.

The cocaine which carries a street value of over $550 million, was reportedly stashed in lumber at a sawmill at Lookout, East Bank Essequibo, belonging to Narine Lall, for whom an arrest warrant has been issued.

Reports are that a truck was hired to pick up and transport the lumber from Lall’s Sawmill to a wharf at Georgetown.

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