Magistrate Rushelle Liverpool yesterday ruled that sufficient evidence has been presented by the State against four men accused of aiding the trafficking of $550M worth of cocaine hidden in lumber.
On trial are, Nazim Gafoor and his father Tazim Gafoor, both of Menzies Street, Windsor Forest, West Coast Demerara; motorbike racer, Stephen Vieira of 37 Middle Street, South Cummingsburg, Georgetown and former Customs Officer Sherwayne De Abreu of 262 Street-Eight Section A Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.
The men are on trial at the Leonora Magistrates’ Courts. It is alleged that between March 1 and May 2, 2017, at a sawmill belonging to Narine Lall located at Lookout, East Bank Essequibo, they aided Hakim Mohamed to traffick 84.986 kilograms of cocaine.
Following the closure of the prosecution’s case, led by Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) Prosecutor Konyo Sandiford, no-case submissions were laid over to the court by lawyers for the four defendants.
The four defendants are being represented by Attorneys-at-Law Everston Lammy-Singh, Glenn Hanoman, Latchmie Rahamat and Nigel Hughes respectively.
After careful revision of the evidence, Magistrate Liverpool ruled that prima facie evidence was led against the four men, and that the court will call upon each of them to lead a defence. They will commence doing so on December 11 and 12, 2018 respectively.
The four men were arrested and charged after CANU ranks conducted a raid at sawmill at Lookout, East Bank Essequibo, where the cocaine was found concealed in dressed lumber.
The sawmill is said to be owned by Narine Lall. The court had issued an arrest warrant for him.
Although the men are accused of aiding Mohamed to traffick the narcotics, charges were never brought against him as he struck a deal and testified on behalf of the State.