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Sickly Trinidad-born Canadian man charged with cocaine trafficking

A sickly Trinidad-born Canadian man who attempted to smuggle nine kilogrammes of cocaine to Canada was Wednesday arraigned and remanded to prison.

58-year old Edward Jones pleaded not guilty to being in possession of 9.545 kilogrammes of the narcotic for the purpose of trafficking.

He was arrested at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on Tuesday, January 6 with the cocaine allegedly in false bottoms of his two suitcases.

Chief Magistrate, Priya Sewnarine-Beharry remanded Jones to prison until January 13 when he would appear in the Providence Magistrates’ Court.

Jones’ lawyers are Roger Yearwood and Marcel Bobb. Objecting to bail, Bobb asked the court to consider that Jones’ health because he suffers from a heart complaint and hypertension. The lawyer also said his client had no previous encounter with the law and he was on his first visit to Guyana.

Police Prosecutor, Bharrat Mangru objected to bail, saying Jones had no relatives in Guyana. Dealing with the health condition of the accused, the prosecutor said that it was the offence rather than the offender who mattered regarding consideration for special circumstances for the granting of bail.

Meanwhile, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) said in a statement that Jones, a passenger on BW 606 flight, went through the screening process at Piarco International Airport, Trinidad and was in transit at the Timehri facility and awaiting the flight to his final destination – Toronto, Canada.

The CJIA credited the Airport X-Ray equipment wih detecting “the anomaly and vigilant ranks were quick to identify the passenger and take him to Georgetown for further questioning. 

This is the first major drug bust for 2014. Last year, approximately 51 kilogrammes of cocaine were confiscated from mules who tried ingenious ways to smuggle the illegal substance, including ochroes and egg plants.  

The airport’s management said successful detections were due to the improvements in Close Circuit Television (CCTV) coverage, modern security scanning equipment and additional manpower.