A third accused in the $23.1 million drug bust in California earlier this month has been granted bail. San Juan businessman Yudishtir Maharaj, 36, of El Socorro Extension, San Juan, re-appeared before Couva Magistrate Siumongal Ramsaran where he was granted bail in the sum of $7.5 million.
Maharaj was charged with cocaine and marijuana trafficking and possession of firearm and ammunition. When he first appeared before Ramsaran, he was denied bail and advised to apply to a judge in chambers. Also charged with drug trafficking and possession of firearm and ammunition were two Claxton Bay brothers who, on October 11, were granted a total of $10.5 million bail.
At yesterday’s hearing, Maharaj’s attorney Shivonne Francis told the magistrate she had a copy of a judgment relative to her client’s matter in another jurisdiction. The police prosecutor asked for additional time to receive a copy of Maharaj’s criminal record from Interpol.
Francis also produced Maharaj’s passport to be surrendered to the court and said her client is willing to be subjected to reporting conditions. After reviewing the documents provided to him and Maharaj’s passport, Ramsaran granted bail in the sum of $7.4 million to cover the four charges. The matter was adjourned to November 20.
Wayne Havelock, 34, a fisherman of Southern Main Road, Claxton Bay who was charged with trafficking in cocaine and marijuana and possession of firearm and ammunition, had been granted $5.5 million bail. His brother Joel Havelock, 28, also a fisherman of the same address, who was charged with trafficking cocaine and marijuana, was granted bail in the amount of $5 million.
The men were arrested on October 6 after members of the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit stopped and searched a vehicle at Southern Main Road, California. The search resulted in the discovery of a Glock pistol, outfitted with one magazine containing 26 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 560 grammes of marijuana and 52 kilos of cocaine.