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19.07.2004 Diaspora News

Cop calls Ghanian defendant a liar

By Royal Gazete

A Narcotics officer cried on the stand Friday in Supreme Court as she attempted to clear her name after an alleged cocaine importer named her as his contact.

And Ghana born defendant Oshuman Shehu told the ten woman, two man jury he thought he was smuggling gold to pay of a debt in New York.

Shehu claimed he had smuggled gold out of mines in Ghana by swallowing it in pellets and that he had been instructed by Jamaican jeweller, Sean Brown in New York to present the gold to Det. Con Devon Richardson at Hamilton Police Station, who would give it to his friend “Roger”.

Det. Con. Richardson's boyfriend is fellow Police Officer, Det. Sgt. Roger Saints. She also admitted that divulging personal information to prisoners was a common practice for her, but cannot remember if she mentioned Det. Sgt. Saints.

Det. Con. Richardson told the court that after being informed of the allegation against her she wanted to take the stand to “clear my name”.

Through tears she accused the defendant of making a “bold faced lie” and told the court that she had not had prior contact with the defendant.

Defence lawyer Victoria Pearman said: “Detective, I have made no allegation that you have had prior contact with the defendant.”

She admitted to having “general conversation” with Shehu while he was being held at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital to pass all the pellets in his stomach.

She said she received a phone call on Thursday informing her to go to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for a meeting just before Friday's court session.

Shehu denies importing 344.1 grammes of freebase cocaine by swallowing 45 red pellets containing the drug. He testified yesterday that he believed “gold dust” was in the pellets.

He said that Mr. Brown told him to bring “gold dust” to Bermuda and give it to Det. Con. Richardson to pass on to “Roger”. He added that he did not know the connection between Det. Con. Richardson and “Roger”.

Shehu said he owed Mr. Brown $10,000 – money which he borrowed to buy his mother, who had just lost both of her legs, a car.

Shehu said he travelled to Ghana in 2002 to smuggle gold dust in his stomach back to the US for Mr. Brown to pay off his debt.

However, at the airport in Africa he threw up a pellet in front of a Police officer and was held until he excreted all 55 of them. He said that he just paid the officers some money and they let him go.

He said Mr. Brown was very mad about this and began threatening him and suggested Shehu go back to Ghana and try again.

Shehu said he refused but instead decided upon Mr. Brown's request to smuggle gold dust to Bermuda to pay off his debt.

He added that Mr. Brown frequented Bermuda, bringing jewellery to dealers, and playing golf with “Roger”.

Shehu told the court that he went to “Mike Matthews” jewellery shop in New York City to pick up 45 pellets of gold dust to swallow and take to Bermuda for Mr. Brown.

At the jewellery store he said he saw 45 pellets spread on a table and then saw a lady spooning gold powder into other pellets. Shehu said he was given the 45 on the table that were already prepared and got on a plane bound for Bermuda that evening.

He said that after being taken to KEMH on suspicion of having swallowed drugs that he was hand cuffed before he was read his rights.

Det. Con. Alickson Severin, an expert on the street value of drugs, testified yesterday that freebase cocaine also referred to as “crack” and was sold in Bermuda in rocks weighing .16 grammes – costing $50 each.

He said that 344.1 grammes of freebase cocaine would yield approximately 2,150 rocks and bring in $107,500.

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