Last Updated on Sunday, 14 May 2017, 19:30 by Denis Chabrol
The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) Sunday night said two motor racers and the owner of a lumber yard are implicated in the seizure of more than 80 kilogrammes of cocaine stashed in a consignment of lumber bound for the United States (US) where the narcotic would have fetched a street value of GYD$550 million.
“The said search revealed cocaine found in random boards scattered among genuine boards in each pallet. Each of the compromised boards had a dug out cavity with vacuum sealed plastic packets containing cocaine pasted therein,” CANU said in a statement.
The anti-drug agency said a truck driver and a number of porters remained in custody since the drug bust last Friday evening (May 12, 2017) at 227 Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo in front of the premises of one Akeem Mohammed. The truck on which the several pallets of 1 X 6 dressed lumber boards were loaded and prepared for export has been also detained by CANU.
“At this time all porters and the truck driver are still in custody assisting in investigations that reveal a well planned webb of participants,” the anti-drug agency said,
Already in custody is popular race car driver, Nazim Gafoor, but CANU says it also wants to arrest motorcycle driver, Stephen Vieria, saw-miller Naraine Lall and Tazim Gafoor. CANU alleges that Vieira is listed on the shipping documents as the representative of Naraine Lall, the shipper.
Investigators believe Lall has already fled the country. “Lall, based on investigations thus far, is allegedly out of the jurisdiction as revealed by checks at his home for him.”
After the truck and personnel were escorted to the drug-agency’s headquarters where the boards were drilled and loosened, CANU said they unearth 84.986 kilogrammes of cocaine.
Investigators said they have so far found out that the truck was hired to pick up and transport the lumber from Naraine Lall’s Saw mill at Lookout East Bank Essequibo to the wharf at Georgetown.
CANU says this latest drugs bust is an indication of the agency seeking to “tighten its grip on narcotic distributors throughout the country.”