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Diplomat charged

Cocaine in the diplomatic pouch —
Diplomat charged

By Francis Joseph,

A DIPLOMAT attached to the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in London has been charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine. He became the third person to be charged following the discovery of two kilos of cocaine in a diplomatic pouch at the Trinidad and Tobago Consulate in New York last month. The pouch originated from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters at Knowsley Building, Port-of-Spain. The latest arrest followed the visit to the TT missions in three countries by local law enforcement officers, where statements were recorded, staff interviewed, and other evidence obtained.

The suspect, a foreign service officer, was charged on Saturday by Sgt Robin Nanan after he was arrested by members of the Organised Crime and Narcotics Unit (OCNU). He has been detained at the Port-of-Spain CID. The diplomat, who was based for the last nine years in London, was served with a copy of the charge. It is alleged that during the period November 30, 2003 and May 8, 2004 in the island of Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere, he conspired with Micah Smith and Kurt Alexis to traffic a dangerous drug, namely cocaine, contrary to common law.

The diplomat will appear before Magistrate Lianne Lee Kim in the Port-of-Spain Fourth Magistrates’ Court this morning. He will be represented by former Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Rangee Dolsingh SC. Following the discovery of the cocaine in the pouch at the New York consulate, the diplomat was one of three persons recalled to Trinidad as investigations continued apace. Two other persons, from the TT Consulate in New York and Toronto were also brought back for questioning. No charges were laid against them. The London-based diplomat was brought back to Trinidad four weeks ago as OCNU officers, headed by Senior Supt Raymond Craig, continued investigations into an alleged drug trafficking ring within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Two other persons, based in Trinidad, have already been arrested and charged with possession of cocaine. They were Micah Smith, 32, of Laventille Extension Road, Morvant, an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Kurt Alexis, 26, of Forres Avenue, Cocoyea Village, San Fernando, a former estate constable at the same Ministry, who is now attached to the Ministry of Health. They last appeared before Magistrate Lee Kim on May 20 and were each released on $100,000 bail to re-appear in court on Thursday. As a condition to their release on bail, Smith and Alexis have to report to the police stations in the areas where they live.

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