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Manchester businessman held in big cocaine bust

Published:Saturday | March 11, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett

A popular Manchester businessman is one of two persons arrested by the Narcotics Police in a major drug bust in the parish last Friday.

According to the Narcotics Police, the men were held with cocaine valued at more than $18 million along the Hatfield main road.

Police investigators told The Sunday Gleaner that during a secondary operation at the home of the 46-year-old businessman, they seized US$13,500, J$449,000, as well as British and Canadian currencies.

The businessman's licensed firearm and three magazines containing more than 50 rounds of ammunition were also seized. The police say these will be handed over to the Firearms Licensing Authority and it is expected that a suggestion will be made for the licence to be withdrawn.

The Narcotics Police say the businessman will be interviewed in the presence of his attorney before being charged with possession of, dealing in and taking steps to export cocaine, as well as possession of criminal property.

It is reported that the two men were travelling in a motor car when the driver was signalled to stop by members of a police party.

The vehicle was searched and 36 ladies handbags were found in a suitcase on the back seat of the car.

The police say a detailed search revealed that each bag had a false compartment containing a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine. They identities of the men were not released yesterday as they were not yet charged.