Men accused of attempting to ship ganja in fabric softener freed

Thursday, June 28, 2018

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TWO men, who were arrested in connection with an attempt to smuggle 109 pounds of ganja to Antigua in drums of fabric softener, walked free from the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court last Friday.

The men, Debido Smith, a 35-year-old mixologist, and Terrence Cousins, 28, were freed of charges of possession of ganja, dealing in ganja and taking preparatory steps to export ganja, and conspiracy to export ganja, after a no-case submission made by their attorneys Richard Lynch and Shannon Clarke was upheld by Parish Judge Jacqueline Wilcott.

The men were arrested in November 2015.

According to the allegations, Cousins went to a warehouse at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on November 15 to ship eight jugs of fabric softener to Antigua. During the shipment process, discrepancies were observed and Cousins was summoned.

It is further alleged that when one of the jugs was pierced, and it was revealed that ganja was inside.

Cousins, when cautioned, told the police that it was Smith who had given him the items to ship. The police then went in search of Smith and found him in Port Royal in Kingston, where, upon enquiries, he reportedly admitted that he had given Cousins the goods to ship, as he was unable to do it at the time because of his job.

Smith was then transported to the warehouse where he was identified by Cousins.

Both men, along with the jugs of fabric softener, were taken to the headquarters of the police Narcotics Division where one of the jugs was cut open and it was discovered that the ganja had been fused inside the jugs with fibreglass.

However, during the trial, Lynch, who represented Smith, argued that although his client had given the jugs of fabric softener to Cousins, he was not aware that they contained ganja as he had got them from someone else.

He also argued that the case was poorly investigated, pointing out that although his client had given the police the name of the person who had given him the jugs of fabric softener, the police did not pursue that individual.

Similar arguments were made by Clarke and Judge Wilcott, in the end, upheld the no-case submission after the prosecution conceded that it had not proven that the men were guilty of the offence.

— Tanesha Mundle

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