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Wednesday 24 April 2019
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$12m bail for women in Westmoorings drug bust

Krystiana Sankar
Krystiana Sankar

UPDATE:

THE TWO women held last week Tuesday at an apartment at Regents Gardens, Westmoorings, during a multi-million-dollar drug bust have both been granted bail of $6 million each.
Krystiana Sankar and Yannis Pebbles Augustine were each granted bail by Port of Spain magistrate Aden Stroude when they reappeared in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The two men – Atiba Eligon and Jervon Cole – were denied bail, Eligon because of his two previous convictions for drug trafficking and Cole because police said he did not live at the two addresses, at Waterwheel and Sea Trace, Diego Martin, which he gave them.

Cole gave a third address at River Estate, Diego Martin, where, he said, he intends to stay if granted bail. That is his girlfriend’s address. The police were given until Monday to do their investigations.

He will return to court on Monday, when bail will be considered for him. Eligon was advised to apply to a judge.

Sankar, 24, the owner of a tent rental company and an internet clothing store, of Blue Range, Diego Martin, was ordered to report to the West End police station every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Her bail is also to be approved by a clerk of the peace III.

The same conditions were attached to the bail granted to Augustine, 26, a lifeguard, of St Lucien Road, Diego Martin. She cried continuously after Stroude announced the bail amount just after 2 pm yesterday.

They appeared subdued throughout their appearance, as they did on Friday.

Eligon’s and Cole’s families showed more emotion when they heard the two would not be granted bail. They expressed disbelief and one or two of them cried.

Yannis Pebbles Augustine

It was another long day in court for the four. They were first brought to the 4A court just before 11 am, at which time the prosecution objected to bail being granted. Unlike Friday, when they first appeared in court, the 14 bags containing the drugs, which had to be carried by at least nine police officers, were not brought to court. Their descriptions had already been noted on Friday.
According to the evidence presented on Friday, the drugs – 1.04 kilogrammes of cocaine and 191.66 kilogrammes of marijuana – carried a total street value of $3.8 million: $400,000 for the cocaine and $3.4 million for the marijauana.

Prosecutors said their objections were based on the grounds of the cogency of the police’s evidence, which included the execution of a search warrant at the 1 Regents Gardens, Westmoorings, apartment; there was eyewitness evidence; the seriousness of the offence; the substantial amount of drugs; the potential for them not to appear in court because of the lengthy jail term for the offences; and their being possible flight risks because of this.

Stroude was also told the police’s investigations were still ongoing and they were trying to find a fifth person of interest.

Halfway into the bail application, Stroude cleared the court to allow prosecutors to speak freely of the evidence against the four on which the police intend to rely. Just after noon, Stroude stood the matter down to 1.30 pm to consider the application. When he returned, he said he didn’t find there were substantial grounds to deny bail to Sankar, Cole and Augustine. It was at this point that the prosecution raised the issue with Cole’s addresses.

A timetable was set for the evidence to be taken to the Forensics Science Centre for testing between tomorrow and January, and Stroude was told the police file should be sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions by January 31 for a state prosecutor to be appointed.
All four accused have been jointly charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. Sankar faced an additional charge of possession of a firearm and ammunition that was allegedly found in her apartment.

They were charged on Thursday by a high-level team of investigators from the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit, police said in a statement.

A fifth person, the driver of a BMW who was arrested away from the drug-bust scene, was released from custody after consultation with the DPP, police said.

The raid which led to the arrest of the four was led by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and comprised officers from the new Special Operations Response Team (SORT).

The accused are represented by attorneys Larry Williams, Criston J Williams, Shirvani Ramkissoon, and Samuel Thomas.

Criston Williams asked for further disclosure of the search warrant as well as any communication retrieved by police under the Interception of Communications Act.

ORIGINAL STORY:

THE TWO women held last week Tuesday at an apartment at Regents Gardens, Westmoorings, during a multi-million-dollar drug bust have both been granted bail in the sum of $6 million each.

Krystiana Sankar and Yannis Pebbles Augustine were each granted bail by Port of Spain magistrate Aden Stoude when they reappeared in court today.

The two men – Atiba Eligon and Jervon Cole – were denied bail. Eligon, because of his previous convictions for drug trafficking and Cole because police said he did not live at the two addresses he gave them at Waterwheel and Sea Trace, Diego Martin.

Cole gave a third address at River Estate, Diego Martin, where, he said, he intends to stay if granted bail.

He will return to court on Monday when bail would be considered for him, while Eligon was advised to apply to a judge.

All four accused have been jointly charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

Sankar faced an additional charge of possession of a firearm and ammunition that was allegedly found in her apartment.

They were charged on Thursday by a high-level team of investigators from the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit, police said in a statement.

A fifth person, the driver of a BMW who was arrested away from the drug-bust scene, was released from custody after consultation with the DPP, police said.

The raid which led to the arrest of the four was led by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and comprised officers from the new Special Operations Response Team (SORT).

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