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CANU officers sent on leave to facilitate probe

Several officers of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) have been sent on leave in connection with a case about a shipment of cocaine in star apples, a senior official said Friday.

CANU’s Head, James Singh declined to name or provide the exact number of anti-drug agents who were sent on administrative leave two weeks ago. “I want to assure that the investigation is being done to ensure the transparency and integrity of CANU’s operations,” Singh told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com).

He, however, confirmed that the decision to send the men on leave was linked to a cocaine trafficking charge against Charles Anderson.

Singh denied that two named officers were dismissed in connection with exchanging information with others as regards a drug bust at Soesdyke in which cocaine was found in several loges earlier this year.

When Anderson was arraigned on October 11, his defence lawyer Mark Waldron had told the court that two CANU officers were disciplined because they had allegedly communicated to the supplier of the cocaine that Anderson had been cooperating with the investigators.

He said that while Anderson was being interviewed in the presence of the Head of CANU, the accused man’s phone rang and the caller expressed concern that he had been providing information. Waldron said he believed that CANU has since made efforts to trace the number.

Anderson is accused of shipping 20.56 kilogrammes of cocaine mostly in star apples to Canada between January 24 and January 25, 2012. The drugs were not found here but were unearthed by Canadian authorities.