Former journalist pleads guilty to cocaine trafficking

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Officers of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) last Friday intercepted former Department of Public Information (DPI) staff Zaneel Williams with a quantity cocaine at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport .

Williams was an outgoing passenger destined for the United States. The cocaine was concealed within her carry-on bag. Williams, 25 of Lot 181 Lamaha Gardens, Georgetown, was arrested and escorted to CANU’s Headquarters with the suspected narcotics.

A further search of the suspect, conducted at Headquarters revealed a quantity of suspected cocaine strapped to her body. The narcotics tested positive for cocaine, with a total weight of 9.628 kg (7.962 kg discovered in her luggage and 1.666 kg strapped to her body). The narcotics had a total street value of over $5 million GYDS and a street value of $300,000 USD.
Further investigations led to the arrests of former CANU officer Anil Sookhoo, aged 33 of Lot 127 Kuru Kuru Linden Soesdyke Highway, and GRA officer Shameka Caesar, aged 27 of Lot zz, Durban Street, Worthmanville, Georgetown.

Meanwhile, Williams and the two men appeared at the Diamond/Grove Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Sunil Scarce on Monday where Williams pleaded guilty. Williams is being represented by attorney-at-law Mark Conway, Caesar is being represented by attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes and Sookhoo is being represented by attorney-at-law Adrian Thompson. Magistrate Scarce deferred Williams’ sentencing to May 30, 2022, and ordered that a psychiatric evaluation be conducted on her and a probation report be prepared. Sookhoo and Caesar pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of $750,000 each. The matter has been adjourned.

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