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$2 million cocaine bust on port

By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL

A St Vincent national is in police custody after an estimated 4.5 kilogrammes of cocaine, with a street value of $2,111,200, was seized yesterday afternoon at the Caricom Wharf of the port of Port-of-Spain.

Police reported that at about 1:30 p.m. yesterday, a party of officers including Cpl Joseph, PC Sookoo, PC Roget, PC Ashby and PC Sinanan, were on patrol at the port, when they observed a white Toyota Corolla motor vehicle driven by the suspect.

On seeing the police, the suspect reportedly began acting suspiciously, and as a result the officers decided to conduct a spot search on his vehicle before it boarded vessel. In the car, the officers found a car fender, a car door, and a black box, all listed as cargo for a vessel which was bound for St Vincent.

The officers asked the man what was in the box, and when he could not provide a satisfactory answer, they decided to open the parcel. The officers cut the bottom of the box and found four packets of a white, powdery substance resembling cocaine, hidden alongside other items including a case of Apple J, Coca-Cola and Caribbean Cool Mauby soft drinks.

The suspect was immediately arrested, and the items seized, and were immediately transported to the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau on Park Street, Port-of-Spain. The drugs were then weighed and police gave an estimate of $2.1 million.

This find comes as officers of the Port Authority continue their diligent work towards preventing the export or import of drugs from various ports in this country.

About four months ago, on December 20, the biggest drug bust in the history of the Norfolk Port in Virginia, United States, occurred when US Customs Border Protection officers seized 332 kilos of cocaine which originated from Trinidad and Tobago and which carries an estimated street value of US$100M or TT$640M. The cocaine was stored inside 700 tins of Trinidad Juice Company juices which were part of a consignment of goods that arrived at the Norfolk Port after being shipped from Trinidad.
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