$100 000 fine
Two Surinamese men charged with smuggling cocaine
Two Surinamese men were fined a total of $100 000 yesterday at the Oistins Magistrates’ Court, by Chief Magistrate Pamela Beckles.
According to acting Station Sergeant Rudolph Burnett, Benito Alard Sylvester, a 33 year old taxi driver from Fajajan Straat, and Michael Roland Felix, a
40-year-old mason of Vanomeren Straat, both of Paramaribo, Suriname, entered Barbados on March 7.
The men told Immigration at the Grantley Adams International Airport that they were spending four days here.
After carrying out investigations, police went to their Christ Church accommodation to execute a search warrant. They found a piece of luggage with Sylvester’s name on it and inside was a plastic bag which had 87 small packages inside.
When asked to account for the cocaine, Sylvester told police he had swallowed the same packages previously.
Both were arrested. Sylvester was taken to the QEH where an xray revealed that he had other packages in his system. He later passed 13 more.
Felix meanwhile appeared at the Oistins Court but was remanded until yesterday, when he appeared with his co-accused Sylvester.
Sylvester, was charged with possession, importation, trafficking and intent to supply one and a half kilograms of cocaine on March 7, on a flight from Trinidad.
Felix was charged with the lone count of trafficking the 87 packages, which weighed 1. 2 kilograms.
On March 10, Sylvester, through an interpreter, admitted to police that he swallowed all 100 packages.
Yesterday, he was fined $75 000 forthwith for importing the drugs, with an alternative of three years in prison. He was convicted, reprimanded and discharged on the remaining charges.
Felix was fined $25 000 or 18 months in jail.
Sylvester, again through an interpreter, explained to Chief Magistrate Beckles that his mother in Suriname is very ill and he wanted quick money.
Meanwhile Felix said he travelled with Sylvester because he could speak English and would have acted as his interpreter.
On completion of serving the time or if the fines are paid, the Surinamese will be released to Immigration officials.