International interest in Guyana drugs bust

Guyana Chronicle
August 17, 2000

ANTI-NARCOTICS agents in at least three major western countries are paying close attention to an unfolding narcotics case here, a high-level source said yesterday.

The official who asked not to be identified told the Chronicle there is special international interest in the bust in the city last week against what the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) believes are some key major players in the drugs trade here.

Guns were fired on Monday Avenue in Georgetown late Friday as CANU squads closed in on five men in three vehicles.

Three of the five held appeared in court yesterday under tight security and pleaded not guilty to trafficking in cocaine before Chief Magistrate Paul Fung-A-Fat.

No one was reported wounded in the gunfire Friday but CANU seized three vehicles and found nearly five kilos of cocaine in one.

Those in court yesterday were Albert Vaughn and Trenton Allicock, of 2 Durban Street, Lodge, Georgetown and Morris Darr, of 3 McDoom Public Road, Greater Georgetown.

They were remanded to prison after pleading not guilty to trafficking in four kilos and 75.08 grammes (about 10 pounds) of cocaine on Friday.

They are to return to court tomorrow.

Lawyer Vic Puran argued that Darr was not found with any dope.

Inspector Fay Bremner, prosecuting, told the court that CANU staked out a house at McDoom on Friday and saw Darr handing over a black, bulky plastic bag to Vaughn, who was with Allicock.

The two men then boarded a Pathfinder, PFF 1539, and left but CANU officers, stationed at Mandela Avenue, tried to stop the vehicle, the court heard.

Vaughn, who was driving the vehicle refused to stop and attempted to escape the officers who were in pursuit, the prosecutor said.

He was also charged with dangerous driving.

Bremner said the men were cornered and arrested on Mandela Avenue and a search of the plastic bag revealed the cocaine.

One of the five men held Friday had tried to ram a CANU vehicle closing in on him as the drama unfolded on Mandela Avenue, a source said.

The source said CANU personnel were forced to open fire on the vehicle when one of two men inside kept pointing a gun at them through a window during the chase.

CANU closed in on the three vehicles as they were together at one point but the driver in one tried to ram the agency vehicle, the Chronicle was told.

As the anti-narcotics squad took evasive action, the other three men in the two vehicles sped away but they were tracked down and seized at McDoom, the source said.

Two of the men in these vehicles, however, have since been released, Bremner said.

When the first vehicle was finally cornered on Mandela Avenue under what a source said was "controlled response" gunfire, the two men were overcome and bundled away.

Squad members then discovered that the gun one dealer was pointing at them was a fake, the source said.

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