Three jailed for drug offences


All three men, who were arrested by the National Drugs Enforcement Agency (NDEA), have appeared before Judge Burhan on charges relating to detections that occurred during 2010.

The first case occurred on October 2, 2010 when NDEA agents on routine mobile patrol at Baie Ste Anne, Praslin received credible information that a tenant living at Marie-Jeanne Estate, on the third floor of a government flat, was cultivating cannabis.

During the course of an operation conducted in the vicinity of the flat, the agents arrested Paul Georges Songoire, a 48-year-old fisherman who was residing at that address.

He was arrested for cultivation of a controlled drug, an offence contrary to section 8 as read with Section 26(1) (a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The drugs were contained in two pots, that on examination, were found to be the illegal drug cannabis, which when measured were found to be approximately 90 cm in height, and had a street value of R10,000.

Songoire was sentenced to five years imprisonment in respect of this offence.

The second case involved Jeff Pool, a 34-year-old diver, residing at Anse Reunion, La Digue. He was arrested on October 27, 2010 at Anse Reunion for an offence of trafficking in a controlled drug contrary to Section 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The circumstances of this case were that on October 27, 2010 at around 2100hrs, NDEA agents conducting a routine patrol at Anse Reunion, La Digue, received credible information that a drug transaction was taking place at a house and premises occupied by the accused.

Arriving at the scene, the NDEA agents conducted an observation on a store that was still under construction adjacent to the suspect house, and observed that a drug transaction was taking place inside the store. 

The NDEA observed the suspect running out from the store.  He was pursued by an agent and, following a struggle with the agents which lasted for several minutes, he was apprehended. A search was conducted during the course of which drugs that were subsequently identified as heroin were found. The drugs were wrapped in plastic containing a total of 129 packets that were in the course of preparation for distribution to the local population on La Digue. The drugs had a street value of R33,500.

The court sentenced Pool to seven years imprisonment.
The third case involved a 43-year-old casual labourer, Desire Valentin, residing at Anse aux Pins. He was arrested in that same district on November 4, 2010.

An NDEA patrol operating in the area observed the accused acting suspiciously and intercepted his transport for the purpose of investigation. The accused, after stopping his car, fled and was chased and subsequently arrested by the NDEA agents. A follow-up search resulted in the seizure of 110 grams of cannabis with a street value of R55,000. At the conclusion of the trial the Judge sentenced Valentin to eight years imprisonment.

These sentences are significant in that two of the accused were, up to the time of their arrest, believed to have been the main suppliers and to have been responsible for the majority of the drugs being consumed on both Praslin and La Digue.


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