A Nigerian national caught trying to export cocaine in fishing reels to the United Kingdom has been jailed for 30 months.
Amaeike Frank Ile, 40, of Enterprise, Chaguanas pleaded guilty during a virtual appearance before San Fernando Magistrate Anslem Leander.
He was arrested on January 13 at the TTPost office at Coffee Street, San Fernando. The court heard that around 2.15 pm PC Matloo received information and went to the TTPost office where he met Ile at the counter.
He had already signed the exportation documents to send the packages to the United Kingdom. When Matloo told him about the information he had, Ile said: “Officer, it have about 150 grammes of cocaine in the packages.”
Upon examining the packages, Matloo observed five fishing reels containing cocaine in a powdery form, wrapped in carbon paper with clear tape.
When cautioned, he said: “This is the first time I doing this.”
He was arrested and taken to Marabella Police Station where Customs and Excise officers were contacted. Customs Officer Rishi Samaroo subsequently charged Ile for attempting to export prohibited goods and packaging items in a manner to deceive Customs and Excise officers.
Matloo charged him with possession of 175 grammes of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. Asking for leniency, Ile’s attorney Cedric Neptune said it was evident by the penalties that the offences were serious.
However, he noted that Ile had no previous convictions or pending matters.
He said Ile engaged in the illegal activity because he was in difficulties with associates. However, Neptune said Ile accepted responsibility for his actions and was remorseful.
Customs and Excise senior prosecutor Harricharan Kassie asked the magistrate to consider the seriousness of the offence.
He tendered the packages, the fishing reels, cocaine and the exportation documents bearing Ile’s signature into evidence.
Prosecutor Cleyon Seedan was also in the matter.
The magistrate sentenced him to 30 months on each charge to run concurrently.
Ile faced another charge of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. This stemmed from a search of his home where the police allegedly found 446 grammes of cocaine.
That matter was transferred to the Chaguanas Court and would be heard next Wednesday.