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Businessman praises CANU, jailed for cocaine possession

COCAINE CONVICT: Michael Park as he exited the Georgetown Magistrates Court after he was jailed and fined for being in possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking

A financially troubled businessman was jailed for three years after complimenting the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) for unearthing a quantity of cocaine that he was hoping to fetch to New York for a fee of US$5,000.

41-year old Andrew Michael Park of Pattensen, Turkeyen was jailed for three years and fined GUY$30,000 after he pleaded guilty to being in possession of 3.124 kilogrammes of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

Presiding was Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

CANU agents found the drug in a black suitcase that he identified as his at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on June 13, 2013.

In admitting guilt, Park told the court that the plan went wrong because he thought that the cocaine had been concealed in the fabric of the suitcase rather than in powdered form.

“This was not meant to happen. I never knew it (cocaine) was at the bottom of the case. A man named Odel, who is the guy who gave me the case, told me the cocaine was baked into the fabric but when the officers showed me, it was just at the bottom of the case. It was in its powder form,” Park told the court.

The father of six asked for a lenient sentence because he was in “financial difficulties that I am trying to get off my chest.”

Park, who is a taxi driver and the owner of two businesses- one in Sophia and the other in Lodge- said he fully cooperated with the CANU investigators by giving them all of the information.

“I wish to compliment them on the good job that they have done,” he told the court.

The prosecution told the court that Park checked in at 3:15 AM to depart on Caribbean Airlines flight BW 524 and went to the departure lounge. Acting on information, CANU agents approached him at 4:30 AM who moments later identified the suitcase which was searched.

He admitted to agents at the airport that he was fetching the illicit substance and was cautioned.