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$31m Cocaine Trial Day 2

Fiji Police Force Principal Scientific officer of the Chemistry Lab has yesterday testified that there were no purity tests conducted of the 39 bars allegedly confiscated from Canadian national’s residence
24 Mar 2021 10:05
$31m Cocaine Trial Day 2
Joshua Aziz Rahman escorted by heavy security of Police Special Response Unit at the High Court in Suva on March 22, 2021. Photo: Ashna Kumar.

Fiji Police Force Principal Scientific officer of the Chemistry Lab has yesterday testified that there were no purity tests conducted of the 39 bars allegedly confiscated from Canadian national’s residence in Caubati on February 14, 2019.

The accused, Joshua Aziz Rahman  appeared before Justice Daniel Goundar for the second day of his trial.

Rahman is facing one count of unlawful possession of illicit drugs.

It is alleged that Rahman with another between January 23, 2019 and February 14, 2019 at Caubati in Suva, without lawful authority, was found in possession of 39.5 kilograms of illicit drugs, namely cocaine.

The raid was conducted at the accused person’s home in Caubati on February 14, 2019, where the discovery of 39 bars of white powder was discovered and later tested positive to be cocaine worth more than $31 million.

 

Representation:

Rahman is represented by counsel Devanesh Sharma and Sharoneel Deo from R Patel Lawyers and Ashneil Nadan from Neel Shivam Lawyers.

The State is presented by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Dr Andrew Jack, lawyers Shelyn Kiran and Monisha Naidu from the Office of the DPP.

 

Trial Day 2:

Justice Goundar questioned Officer Miliana Werebauinona whether there were any purity tests done on the bars of cocaine to which she testified that there were provisions and instruments in the Lab to conduct the purity test, however, there was no request made to conduct a purity test.

Ms Werebauinona testified that when the white substances were analysed, there was no other substance detected apart from cocaine.

She further testified that for purity tests were conducted upon the requests of the Investigating officers and in this case, no such request was made.

She also added that the samples of 39 bars were also requested by the New Zealand Police for tests and that the permission to reopen the packaged and obtain samples was given by the Police Commissioner.

In court, Ms Werebauinon opened the packages in which the 39 bars and two black plastics were kept in after tests for identification purposes.

When questioned by Mr Sharma on whether there were any fingerprint tests conducted on the black plastic bags and bars, Ms Werebauinona told the court that the Lab was only limited to chemical testing and the fingerprint tests were conducted by the Crime Scene Unit.

Prosecution’s witness, Police Constable Josua Cakausese testified that on February 12, 2019, Joshua was a suspect of the Criminal Investigations Department for a large sum of money that he was carrying.

Mr Sharma pointed out to the witness that the evidence given was that the search conducted was for the large sum of money, however, the statement given on March 16, 2021 stated that the search was conducted in regards to an investigation of Rahman allegedly dealing with drugs.

Constable Cakausese testified that yes and further added that in his statement, he arrested Rahman for suspicion of dealing drugs.

When questioned by defence if there was any evidence of drugs found in the hotel room on the night of February 12, 2019, Constable Cakausese testified that the amount of cash he had was evidence.

He added that the cash was suspected to have originated from the dealing of drugs.

Constable Cakausese further testified that Rahman was arrested on the night of February 12, 2019 and kept in Police custody at Namaka Police Station.

Mr Sharma questioned the witness whether he was aware when a search was conducted at night, the officer had to obtain an authority to do so on the warrant to which Constable Cakausese answered yes, however, he gave no explanation as to why it was not done in this case.

The trial continues today.

 

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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