Lethem businessman remanded for drug, bribery charges
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Accused: Marlon Jarvis
Accused: Marlon Jarvis

MARLON Jarvis, a 44-year old businessman of Lethem, was on Monday remanded to prison by Chief Magistrate Ann Mc Lennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on charges of possession of narcotics and bribery.

Particulars of the first charge alleged that on April 3, 2019, at Tabatinga, Lethem in the Rupununi District, he had in his possession 53.74 kilograms of cannabis and 1.59 kilograms of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

The second charge read that on April 3, 2019, at Tabatinga, Lethem, he attempted to pervert the course of justice, that is to say he handed over the sum of $180,000 to one of his friends under the condition that he give the said amount of cash to the police to drop the narcotics investigation, in which he was a suspect. He pleaded not guilty to both of the charges.

Jarvis was represented by Attorney-at-Law Jerome Khan, who strongly defended the accused. He noted that his client was innocent in the matter. Khan told the court that in relation to the second charge, on the day in question his client was at home when he received a phone call from his good friend, who is also a businessman. During the phone call, the friend told him that the police had surrounded his place and had him under arrest for having narcotics in one of his properties.

He further related that the friend told the defendant that he was troubled and that the police are asking for a large quantity of money to drop the matter, but Jarvis only had $200,000 to spare. As such, he went to lend the friend the money. When he arrived, as he handed the man the money, several policemen came and placed him under arrest. Khan assured the court that his client had no connections or interactions with the police. The attorney also told the court that Jarvis had no knowledge of the narcotics since he is not the owner of the building.

“All he did was prove himself to be a Good Samaritan and lend his friend some money,” said Khan.

A bail application was made under the circumstances that the prosecution’s case is weak and there is a lack of evidence that Jarvis markets narcotics. However, Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield objected to bail being granted to the defendant. According to Mansfield, on the day in question, police acted upon information received and went to an unfinished structure in Lethem where they carried out a search which revealed a bag on the floor with the suspected drugs. Further investigations were carried out, which led to the arrest of the other friend. He was being investigated by police ranks when a call came in from a number and he was told to answer. During the conversation, the caller spoke about the sum of money going to the police for the said narcotics.

After listening to both parties, the magistrate ordered that the defendant be remanded to prison until his next court appearance at the Lethem Magistrate’s Court on April 18, 2019.

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