FORMER CUSTOMS Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) officer, Kurt Sunich and an outgoing US passenger were yesterday convicted for trafficking cocaine in shoe soles last year at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).Sunich, 30, and Israel George, 22, were jailed for four years and fined over $1.5M each, after they were found guilty of conspiring with a person or persons known or unknown to traffic 580 grams of cocaine on July 3, 2015 at CJIA.
According to reports, the cocaine was hidden in two shoe soles in the lavatory of the departure lounge. The illicit substance was neatly packed in the footwear and was placed in the area for an outgoing passenger.
However, the plan failed when CANU officers carried out a routine search and found the drug that was placed there for the outgoing passenger to collect. The ranks reportedly substituted the drug unknown to the passenger, who later took possession of the shoes. He was arrested.
According to court facts, the cocaine was hidden in two shoe soles in the toilet of the departure lounge. The illicit substance was placed in the area for George to collect. At the time he was an outgoing passenger.
Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, during her summing up placed weight on Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers case since he had proven all the elements of the offence to convict the two men.
Sunich’s Attorney Euclin Gomes in mitigation said that his client accepted the court ruling and asked the court to impose the minimal sentence that the law permitted.
Sunich and George made their first court appearance on July 7 last and had denied the allegation. They were remanded to prison but were subsequently released on High Court bail.