Foreign nationals jailed for 4 years, fined GY$493M for drug trafficking, aviation offences

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Rodrigues Canon Dandes Estiven (right) and Matheus Vinicius Tontes Alberto

Two foreign nationals who were arrested on Sunday after an illegal CESNA 172 aircraft landed at Mahdia, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) with almost 800 pounds of cocaine and marijuana were each fined GY$484,552,320 after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges.

They have been identified as Mateus Vinicius Pontes Alberto, a 23-year-old Brazilian national, and a 43-year-old Colombian man, Rodrigues Canon Dandres Estiven.  They were also ordered to pay fines with an alternative of serving jail time after pleading guilty to aviation offences.

They Break News understands that the aircraft touched down at about 15:00h without the necessary permits from Guyana’s aviation authority.

Police Headquarters said the 250 packs of cocaine amounted to 639.9 pounds or 290.2 kilogrammes, while the 50 packs of marijuana amounted to 120.45 pounds or 54.6 kilogrammes.

The cocaine is valued at GY$435, 380,640 and the marijuana at GY$49, 171, 680.

The total value of the illegal drugs seized is GY$484,552,320.

See the below press statement from Police Headquarters on the court proceedings:

1. Cocaine matter – both defendants were fined GY$435,380,640 and sentenced to 4 years and 6 months imprisonment, respectively.

2. Cannabis matter- both defendants were fined GY$49,171,680 and sentenced to 4 years and 6 months imprisonment, respectively.

3. Operating a civil aircraft without an airworthiness certificate – both defendants were fined GY$2,000,000 and (1) year imprisonment, respectively.

4. Interference with an aircraft – both defendants were fined GY$2,000,000 and (1) year imprisonment, respectively.

5. Operating an aircraft without insurance – both defendants were fined GY$3,000,000 or (1) year imprisonment, respectively.

6. False or misleading aircraft marking – both defendants were fined GY$2,000,000 or (1) year imprisonment, respectively.

All the sentences will run together/concurrently.

A large quantity of cocaine and marijuana was found on the plane

The aircraft which landed at Mahdia earlier on Sunday

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