A woman, who routinely shipped vegetables to Canada, was Monday jailed for 56 months and fined more than GUY$11 million for trafficking cocaine in boulanger to that North American country.
Bhanmattie “Lalita” Persaud of 460 Grass Field, Lusignan, East Coast Demerara was found guilty by City Magistrate Judy Latchman for the offence of trafficking in cocaine.
Persaud was arrested and arraigned on December 9, 2013 for being in possession of 12.330 kilogrammes of cocaine that were found in a shipment of the vegetable at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport on November 30, 2013.
The Magistrate told Persaud that based on the facts presented by the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) Prosecutor, Oswald Massiah, she was convinced that the woman was aware of the cocaine in the vegetable for the purpose of trafficking.
The CANU prosecutor told the court that Persaud had asked the exporter to uplift a quantity of squash from Bourda market, while she had collected the boulanger from East Coast Demerara and Berbice. The vegetables were later packed in boxes and taken to the airport.
There, according to Massiah, CANU agents decided to conduct a 100 percent inspection of the boxes and their contents. During that process, he said, one of the anti-drug agents held a boulanger by its stem and it fell off.
On further inspection, he said the agents found that the boulanger pulp had been removed and replaced with cocaine.
Persaud, however, insisted that she never knew that the boulangers were stuffed with cocaine or she would not have collected them. She said that she was set up by someone with whom she had shared a relationship.