Only shots were fired by CANU - officer

Stabroek News
October 10, 2000

Shots fired during the car-chase cocaine bust came from one gun in the possession of a Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) officer. This was told to the court when the trial continued yesterday before Chief Magistrate Paul Fung-A-Fat.

Albert Vaughn, 47, and Trenton Allicock, 37, both of Lot 2 Joseph Pollydore Street, Lodge, and Morris Darr, 26, of Lot 3 McDoom, East Bank Demerara, are before the court on a charge of possession of 4.7508 kilogrammes of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, following a car-chase through the city sprinkled with gunfire. Vaughn also faces a dangerous driving charge.

Yesterday, CANU officer, Oral Stoby, acknowledged under cross-examination that no vehicle tried to force CANU's bus off of the road on August 11. Moreover, that the only shots fired were the ones he discharged.

However, he denied giving the impression that both incidents occurred. Acknowledging he made no effort to correct the reports carried by the media, Stoby denied suggestions by Vic Puran, lawyer for the three men, that CANU did not know what kind of story to tell.

He stated that he had arrested Darr; his brother, Robert Darr; and another man in relation to the current offence. According to witness, the men were in CANU's custody for about six days before they were released. He said he found four airline tickets in the Pathfinder and that Vaughn informed him they were for him, his wife, one of his children and a friend to travel to Trinidad.

Earlier, George McDonald, marketing director of Banks DIH Ltd, testified that he had sold the Pathfinder involved in the chase to Vaughn. He said he disposed of the vehicle for the price of $3 million after Vaughn answered an advertisement he had placed in the newspapers.

The Banks executive revealed that the defendant made a request for the vehicle to be registered in his son, Bobby Vaughn's name, but confessed that that never materialised because the older Vaughn never showed up to complete the transaction. He maintained though, that he was not in possession of the Pathfinder when CANU conducted the bust.

Puran later got McDonald to acknowledge that the receipt he wrote was not for $3 million and moreover, that he did not apply for compliance or transfer of the vehicle. McDonald went on to state that the receipt he wrote was in Bobby Vaughn's name, which meant he really sold the vehicle to Bobby Vaughn.

He said that although Bobby Vaughn was not present on the first occasion he was there when the last transaction took place.

The trial continues today.

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