A Timehri businesswoman was yesterday charged with escaping from custody after being arrested for allegedly having cannabis for trafficking and selling liquor without a licence.
Shanaz Mohamed, 38, of 315 Back Road, Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara, was brought before acting Chief Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus in Georgetown, where she was faced with three charges.
It was alleged that Mohamed on May 6th, at Back Road, Soesdyke, Timehri, had 487 grammes of cannabis in her possession for the purpose of trafficking.
It was further alleged that on the same date and at the same location, Mohamed sold liquor without having a liquor licence.
The final charge stated that on May 8th, at the Timehri Police Station, while in custody at the inquiries office for narcotics possession and the selling of liquor without licence, Mohamed escaped.
Mohamed denied all the charges levelled against her.
Police prosecutor Gordon Mansfield objected to the accused being granted bail. He told the court that a party of police went to Mohamed’s home and conducted a search for narcotics and ammunition.
During the search, Mansfield explained, the police found a bag in the living room, behind a freezer, containing leaves, seeds and stems suspected to be cannabis. The prosecutor added that the police also observed a quantity of liquor and asked the accused to produce a liquor licence but she failed to do so. As a result, he said Mohamed and the items were taken to the Timehri Police Station. While at the police station, Mansfield said, Mohamed escaped custody and was only recaptured on June 3rd.
In seeking bail, attorney Stanley Moore, who represented Mohamed, told the court that the cannabis was recovered in a room occupied by 10 other persons and not on her. He went on to state that although he would not go into details surrounding how his client ended up leaving the Station, it was done with the approval of a police officer. He also noted that after leaving the station, his client returned to her premises and was performing business as usual.
Although prosecutor Mansfield admitted that investigations are being conducted into the conduct of two officers who were stationed at the Timehri Police Station, he disputed the assertion that the accused returned to conduct business as usual at her home. Mansfield stated that the accused was arrested a few houses away from where she resides.
Having heard from both the prosecutor and the defence attorney, the acting magistrate granted Mohamed $100,000 bail on the escape from lawful custody charge, and $70,000 bail on the unlicensed liquor sale charge. She was, however, remanded to prison on the narcotics charge.
The matters were then adjourned until June 19th, when they are expected to be heard at the Providence Magistrate’s Court One.