One charged, two released in $234m drug bust

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Cocaine worth an estimated street value of $234 million seized at a hotel in Chagauramas on May 18. – Photo courtesy TTPS

ONE of three people held in connection with the “largest drug bust on land” was charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking while the other two were released pending further enquiries.

In a media release on Tuesday, police said Keon Aberdeen of La Fillete Village, North Coast, Las Cuevas was charged after officers received advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Apart from the drug charge, Aberdeen was also charged with possession of a Glock semi-auto pistol fitted with an automatic selector, an extended magazine and 13 rounds of 9 mm ammunition. The cocaine has a street value of $234,457,344, police said.

Police said the two other people held with him last Thursday were released pending further enquiries. Aberdeen was arrested by officers of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU). The officers intercepted a black Suzuki SUV in the car park of a hotel in Chaguaramas and after searching the vehicle found five large black garbage bags containing 148 packages of cocaine, weighing 168kgs, in the trunk. The gun was found on the floor of the driver’s side.

In a media release on Saturday, police said three people were held at a hotel in Chaguaramas after police received information in March about a large shipment of cocaine destined for the United States.

The release quoted Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher who said the local police worked closely with both regional and international partners resulting in the arrest and now charges.

She said it was the largest land seizure of cocaine ever in the country and vowed to continue partnering with the country’s law enforcement counterparts in the US “to wage a forceful and relentless war on the regional drug trafficking networks and those who profit from the illegal drug trade.”