SEXAGENARIAN Bhagwantie Seepaul, of Lot 90 Shuter Street, Ontario, Canada, made another appearance before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry yesterday, after being charged, last December, with being in possession of 3.058 kilogrammes of cocaine for trafficking.
The trial commenced and the first witness called to testify was the officer who made the arrest at Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) agent, Timolin Benn.
After being led by CANU Special Prosecutor Oswald Massiah, the witness was cross-examined by Defence Counsel, Nigel Hughes.
Seepaul’s suitcase and handbag which were taken from her at the CJIA were produced in court before the proceedings were adjourned to January 23.
The 63-year-old defendant has lived in Canada for 45 years and was due to get her Canadian citizenship shortly.
Seepaul, also known as Shirley, Mary and Yvonne, arrived in Guyana on December 15 and went to Berbice where relatives did not expect her.
The prosecutor, at the previous court hearing, said the woman informed CANU ranks that she returned to Georgetown on December 24 and was at the Berbice car park when a man, whose only name she gave as Alex, invited her to stay at a Parfaite Harmonie Hotel, on the West Bank of Demerara.
Massiah said the defendant related that the following day, Alex took her to Georgetown, transferred her to another vehicle and gave her packages to send for someone in Canada.
The prosecutor said, when Seepaul arrived at the CJIA, the scanner detected something suspicious and a search was conducted on her suitcase, which confirmed that she was carrying cocaine.
Massiah said some of the cocaine was in custard powder and more was found at the bottom of a Lala’s curry powder tin.
The prosecutor said, when the passenger was questioned, she provided no useful information about Alex and was, subsequently, charged.
Seepaul, who claimed she came to Guyana to visit a sick cousin, will remain on remand in prison until January 23.
The magistrate had explained to her that bail could only be granted for special reasons.