CANU wants less jail time for drug mules willing to testify

first_imgMarijuana seized by the Thai narcotic police department is seen on display before being incinerated in Ayutthaya on September 17, 2011. Yingluck Shinawatra has announced the government will begin an urgent anti-drugs campaign. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)The Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) has recommended there be less jail time for drug mules who are willing to testify and give evidence that could lead to the arrest of their suppliers.This is according to Deputy Head of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), Lesley Ramlall, who on Thursday told reporters that in light of the unwillingness of those arrested, some drug trafficking “recruiters” do not face the brunt of the law.He stated that as such, it would be a wise move for legislation to be passed that would allow a lighter jail sentence for persons who are contracted as cocaine mules providing that they cooperate fully and testify in the courts against their recruiters.“So, we are looking at the possibility…maybe having mules who are willing to testify and have a reduction in their sentence. Based on what I gathered, this was done before but the timeframe it took was really long, so by the time it was approved, the person would have already served their time in prison. So maybe something we need to explore so as to encourage mules to now start testifying against those who would have recruited them.”Just last month, 55-year-old Sandra Angela Proffit was sentenced to four years in jail with a fine of $9.1 million for drug trafficking charges.In April last, she was busted at the Eugene F Correia International Airport, Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD), with over seven pounds of cocaine duct taped to her upper thighs.She had been sitting in the departure area waiting to board a LIAT flight destined for Barbados when she was intercepted by CANU ranks. Proffit was reported to have cooperated with CANU ranks during the investigation and identified the man who allegedly recruited her to traffic the cocaine.Subsequently, a wanted bulletin was issued for Winston Carto called “Chief Mike” of Lot 193 Greenheart Street, South Ruimveldt Gardens, Georgetown, in relation to the same matter. However, he was never convicted of that offence which involved Proffit in April last.According to CANU’s Deputy Head, Profitt was not keen on testifying against her recruiter in court.“After she would have identified who was her recruiter, and give us all information, she was reluctant to testify against him in court and so we could not have proceeded. That is one of the challenges we are having. She was not the only person but several other mules that we have arrested within the last two years we have encountered that challenge as well where they are not prepared to testify against their recruiters.”Meanwhile, CANU is actively pursuing the idea and implementation of a witness protection programme, for individuals who would provide relevant information about drug related matters and be willing to go to the courts to testify.Deputy Director of CANU, Lesley Ramlalllast_img read more