T&T medical doctor on cocaine export charges
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – An Indian-born medical doctor will re-appear in court on June 30 after he was charged with possession and attempting to export nearly two kilograms of cocaine last year.
Dr Rajah Shiva Prasad Muvalla, 30, who is based in Tobago, was granted TT$1.5 million (One TT dollar = US$0.16 cents) bail when he appeared before Magistrate Ray Roopchand at the Arima Court, on Monday.
Dr Muvalla, who was arrested over the weekend, had initially been questioned late last year when on November 7, he was allegedly found in possession of the cocaine which was contained in two water heaters destined for Jamaica. The items were about to be flown aboard a Caribbean Airlines flight.
A second charge, read in court was that Muvalla was in possession of 17.12 kilogrammes of cocaine for export at Piarco International airport.
The court was told that the cocaine had an estimated local street value of TT$6.8 million (One TT dollar = US$0.16 cents).
Police had initially objected to bail for the medical doctor deeming him a flight risk and that he had also been charged with was charged with breaking and entering the pharmacy of the Sangre Grande District Hospital and the larceny of pharmaceutical drugs.
But attorney Jai Narine countered by saying his client was not a flight risk and asked that the court to note that the incident occurred last year and his client did not leave the country.
He said Dr Muvvalla has worked in Trinidad and Tobago for the past five years and is employed at a hospital in Tobago, on contract, which was due to expire in 2015.
In granting bail, the magistrate ordered that the doctor surrender his travel documents and report to the police three times a week.