May 2, 2013, 11:20 AM
The analytical report conducted on the multi-million dollar cocaine allegedly seized from nine foreign nationals at Bonto village in Kombo North district of the West Coast Region, was Thursday tendered and admitted by the Banjul Magistrates' Court.
The nine accused persons are: Ephriam Micheal Chiduben a Nigerian national, Juan Carlos Sanchez, Eric Bottini, Dose Fermin, Juan Carlos Diaz, and Esteaban Zavala all Venezuelan nationals, George Sanchez a Mexican/Liberian national, as well as Rudy Rasoehamid Gazi and Dennis Wilgo Winter both Dutch nationals.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to traffic in prohibited drugs, trafficking in drugs, dealing in prohibited drugs, having firearm without authority, importation of firearm without authority, among others.
Testifying for the prosecution, Alieu Jassey, a narcotics officer attached to the National Drug Enforcement Agency, NDEA, told court that he recognised the accused persons.
He said the accused were brought to his office on 7 June 2010, in connection with the cocaine that was discovered in Bonto village.
He added that the cocaine were found in 35 bags in block form and each bag contained 25 blocks, adding that samples were taken from each block, wrapped in a piece of paper and sent to the office of the NDEA for scientific analysis.
Still testifying, he told the court that the report indicated that it was real cocaine.
The Director of Public Prosecutions applied to tender the said report as an exhibit, but defence counsel LS Camara objected.
However, the defence counsel's objection was later overruled by the court, and the report was tendered and admitted as an exhibit.
The case continues.