Court postpones trial of female cocaine smuggler

POSTED: 09/21/12 1:15 PM

GREAT BAY – Leydie Chantal D.R., a petite 25-year-old charged with smuggling 225 grams of cocaine from Curacao to St. Maarten on June 27, was released from detention yesterday afternoon after Judge mr. Tamara Tijhuis ordered a lab-test to ascertain that the white power customs officers found hidden in a purse the young lady was carrying is indeed cocaine.

The defendant told the court that she had traveled for a 1-day trip to Curacao at the insistence of a boyfriend. While the airline ticket cost 521 guilders ($291) the defendant said that she had paid cash $190 for it. She claimed to have bought the purse from someone on the street in Back street the day she purchased the ticket. When she returned from Curacao the cocaine was found in the purse’s lining.

Judge Tijhuis thought that the defendant was telling a strange story. She pointed out that the cocaine is usually adulterated four to five times and that this would bring the cocaine’s potential value to around $60,000. (This estimate is probably based on the European or American street value for cocaine – ed.).

The young woman has already spent 55 days in detention in Simpson Bay. Prosecutor mr. Gonda van der Wulp conceded to the judge that the substance had not been tested in a lab for cocaine. She considered the charges proven and the defendant’s statements not plausible. mr. Van der Wulp demanded 8 months imprisonment, with 4 months suspended.

Attorney mr. Geert Hatzmann pointed out that it is not even certain whether the substance in the purse is cocaine. “It may be assumed that it is possibly cocaine,” he quoted from the police report. “I doubt that it is cocaine,” he said, “and in case of doubt my client has to be acquitted.”

mr. Hatzmann also thought the demand high for such a small amount. “The 55 days she has already been detained ought to be enough,” he said.

The prosecutor said that if there is uncertainty about the substance it will have to be tested. “In that case I will not object to suspending the defendant’s detention,” she said.

Judge Tijhuis opted for testing the substance at the Dutch Forensic Institute NFI and for suspending the defendant’s detention. A date for a new trial was not set; it depends on when the NFI returns the lab results.


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