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A 19-year-old employee with Servisair was yesterday denied bail when he appeared before an Arima magistrate charged with being in possession of close to $22 million in cocaine.
Nathaniel Bowen of Carib Homes, Victory Street, Arima, appeared before Senior First Court Magistrate Indra Ramoo-Haynes charged with being in possession of 54 kilogrammes of pure cocaine.
Despite a plea for bail by his attorney, Reynold Waldropt, Magistrate Ramoo-Haynes upheld an objection by court prosecutor Sgt Fitzgerald Johnson.
Johnson said even though Bowen did not have previous convictions or pending matters before the courts, he was objecting to bail based on the severity of the offence and the quantity of the narcotics.
He pointed out that the prosecution was of the opinion that Bowen may not submit himself to the court if he was granted bail. Ramoo-Haynes then reminded Bowen of his right to apply to a judge in chambers for bail and adjourned the matter to September 19.
According to the charges, officers from the Organised Crime Narcotics and Firearms Bureau (OCNFB) were conducting enquiries at the airport when they intercepted two tagged suitcases.
The suitcases were searched and several packets of cocaine found inside which were bound for New York on board Caribbean Airlines flight BW 520. The suspect was subsequently arrested and taken to the Piarco Police Station where he was interviewed.
A search was conducted at his home and nine grammes of marijuana were also allegedly found. Bowen was later charged with both offences before being taken to court yesterday.
In an unrelated incident, OCNFB officers along with members of the Defence Force and South Western Division destroyed seven marijuana fields in the Moruga forest on Thursday.
Approximately 40,000 fully grown marijuana trees were destroyed along with 20,000 seedlings as well as two camps used by marijuana planters. During the exercise, law enforcement officers destroyed approximately $40 million in marijuana trees .
Both operations were spearheaded by Snr Supt Simon Lendore, head of the OCNFB.