FOUR young men were on Monday remanded to prison by Magistrate Peter Hugh at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court, East Coast Demerara.
The court heard that on Saturday July 28 in the East Demerara Magisterial District 34-year-old Inderjet Beepat, 29-year-old Jason Dhanpat, 29-year-old Jermain Hikel and 24-year-old Teairre Ackeem Cush had in their possession 116.294 kilogrammes of marijuana for trafficking.
The men were remanded to jail until August 8, 2018 when the prosecutor in the matter will return for submissions and disclosures.
According to reports, the young men were under the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) radar for a while. This newspaper learnt that the ranks moved in on the men early on Saturday morning and intercepted a wooden vessel and a taxi, both of which were said to be loaded with bulky bags of suspected marijuana.
In court, the magistrate did not request of the prosecution whether there was any objection to bail, but rather asked of the men if they had any special reason as to why the court should grant them bail for the alleged offence.
Beepat, a truck driver of Sheet Anchor Village Canje, told the magistrate that special consideration should be given to him since he was involved in an accident some time back, and due to a problem with his left foot he is unable to sit in the washroom properly.
Dhanpat, a father of four of 9-9 Theatre Ally, New Amsterdam, put forward as his special reason for seeking bail, a difficulty he has breathing.
Hikel, who resides at the same address as Dhanpat, told the court that he should be granted bail given the beating which he alleged that he sustained at the hands of two of the investigating ranks. And, when he was asked to point out the ranks to the court, Hikel only identify one and said the other was not in the courtroom.
Cush, who resides in North East La Penitence, also told the court that he suffered a beating at the hands of the investigating ranks and also alleged that one of the ranks even threatened to kill him.
However, the magistrate after listening to what the respective accused men, informed them that neither of the special reasons given to the court had qualified them to be granted their pre-trial liberty, as such they were all remanded.
Meanwhile the CANU prosecutor informed that one of the four accused had been on the agency’s radar for some time. He was even arrested and detained for a period in two separate matters but had to be released as evidence was not forthcoming.
Dhanpat, Hikel and Cush, prior to their arrest on Saturday were employed as a fisherman, carpentry/mason and plumber, respectively. They were in the custody of CANU since they were detained, but following their court appearance on Monday they were handed over to the police.