Four Guyanese men have pleaded guilty in the High Court in Bridgetown to committing several drug offences, according to a report on the online news site, Barbados Today.
Yagpaul Bhisundial, Berkley Crawford, Carlton LaCaille and Tito Moore admitted to importation, possession and possession with intent to traffic 101. 02 kilogrammes of cannabis and 20.66 kilogrammes of cocaine on October 15, 2013, the report said today.
Moore, Crawford and LaCaille also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, but Bhisundial denied the offence.
Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Blackman and Senior Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney told Justice Pamela Beckles that the Crown was not proceeding with the firearm charge against Bhisundial at this time.
However, the charge would remain on the indictment pending a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
In presenting the case, the report said that Blackman said law enforcement officials had received a tip off about the pending shipment and had mounted an operation to intercept the cargo vessel, the Regina, which had left Guyana for Bridgetown.
During a subsequent search in the presence of the men, the illegal drugs and a 9mm semi automatic pistol with a magazine were found in different sections of the vessel, including the quarters assigned to the men.
They were arrested and charged after tests were conducted on the items.
Blackman further said that though the CARICOM nationals were not known
in this jurisdiction, they had given statements to the police detailing their culpability.
According to the report, Crawford, alias Sweet Man from Berbice, told lawmen at the time that someone by the name of Fat Man had received the drugs on the vessel for him and kept them until he retrieved them. He later stored them in his cabin.
LaCaille, of East Bank Demerara, said he had liaised with Moore, who was the second engineer on the boat, to get the drugs transferred to another vessel when they got to the cement plant in Barbados, but they were intercepted before the arrangement could be made.
Moore reported that Berkley had informed him that they would transport “some weed and cocaine . . . and a gun too”. He also told the officers he had asked Berkley what was in it for him and was told that he would receive Bds$10,000.
“I said okay because officer I building my little house in Guyana so I help he and the rest . . . but I didn’t see no gun,” he added, according to the report.
Bhisundial, who is from Berbice, said he received a telephone call from Berkley telling him to accept “a bag of weed for him that he want to carry up to Barbados”. He was said to have told police that while he was on the vessel someone in a car brought him “a white canvas bag, something like a rice bag, and then drive and went long”. In it, he said, were a number of small packages which he stored in his locker for Berkley who later took possession of them.
The Regina boat then set sail but was intercepted a couple miles off Barbados.
Following the presentation of the facts, a pre-sentencing report was ordered on the four men, as well as a report from prison officials about their time spent on remand.
Bhisundial, who is represented by Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim, and his three co-accused who have Samuel Legay as their legal counsel, will return to court on May 15, the report added.