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Canadian National To Live 20years Of His Life In Jail

26-year-old Canadian national, Joshua Aziz Rahman has been jailed for 20 years. Rahman appeared via Skype from the Suva Remand Centre yesterday before High Court Judge, Justice Daniel Goundar. The
13 Oct 2021 08:30
Canadian National To Live 20years Of His Life In Jail
Joshua Aziz Rahman outside the High Court in Suva in April, 2021. Photo: Ashna Kumar.

26-year-old Canadian national, Joshua Aziz Rahman has been jailed for 20 years.

Rahman appeared via Skype from the Suva Remand Centre yesterday before High Court Judge, Justice Daniel Goundar.

The Canadian national with a Fijian heritage is convicted for being in possession of 39.5 kilograms of cocaine worth $39.5 million.

He has been given a non-parole period of 14 years to be served and 30 days from yesterday to appeal at the Fiji Court of Appeal.

Background:

In November 2017, Rahman’s father took on a tenancy of a residential dwelling at Caubati Road. In 2018, Rahman frequently visited his father in Fiji and lived with his father in Caubati.

Rahman came under the Police radar on February 9, 2019, when he was seen having a face-to-face meeting with three foreign nations on two different locations in Suva.

Rahman was not aware that those individuals that he met were persons of interest for the Police.

The surveillance photographs of the meeting and the evidence of the surveillance officer revealed Rahman’s close connection with those individuals, contrary to his claim that he did not know them.

After meeting the three foreign nations, Rahman returned to his house in Caubati Road.

On February 12, 2019, Rahman travelled to Nadi and checked into a hotel. The same evening, Rahman was arrested and detained.

He was escorted to Suva the following morning and interviewed under caution and voluntarily answered the questions, however, he did not make any admissions.

Rahman’s house in Caubati was searched on February 14, 2019, and at that time, he was the sole occupant of the house as his father had left for New Zealand on February 8, 2019.

The drugs were concealed inside the master bedroom of the house. They were made of bars and wrapped with plastic and duct tape.

One bar was found inside the bedside drawer while 38 bars were found inside a cavity underneath the bed.

Rahman’s father occupied the master bedroom while Rahman occupied the adjacent room however he had access to all the rooms.

The cocaine found was of a large quantity which was 39.5 kilograms with an average purity of 81 per cent and worth $39.5 million.

Sentence:

Justice Goundar in sentencing said the court found Rahman criminally liable for joint possession of drugs with his father.

He refused to believe Rahman’s evidence that he did not know about the drugs in the house.

Justice Goundar said Rahman had a close association with his father at a time when he was involved with illicit drug transactions in New Zealand and with the foreign nations linked with international drug offences a few days before the drugs were discovered in his house.

“Cocaine is a hard drug that can cause significant social and psychological harm to the public,” Justice Goundar said.

“It is a highly addictive drug that can cause a severe form of mental illness and increase risks of heart attacks and strokes for regular users.

“The quantity of drugs suggested the drug was possessed for commercial purpose and there was no suggestion that the offender was a user.”

Justice Goundar said to Rahman that: “You had the option to live a decent and honest life but you chose the path of crime.

“You now have to bear the consequences of that choice.”

Justice Goundar said drug offenders should not expect the court to exercise much mercy in a sentence and it was the court’s duty to send a clear message that soft options are not available for drug offenders.

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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