Police testifies in alleged importation of “kush” to SL from UK
Sierra Leone-Freetown: Magistrate Sahr Kekura, on Tuesday 17th August 2021 at the Pademba Road Court No. 1 granted Le 500 million bail to one Rashid Sillah in the ongoing preliminary investigation into alleged importation of the illegal drug “kush” from England into Sierra Leone.
Police alleged that the accused on the 7th July 2021 at Lungi Airport imported 15 kilograms of Indian hemp from England to Sierra Leone without lawful authority.
The accused was arraigned on three counts charges of dealing with prohibited drugs, importation of prohibited drugs and unlawful possession of Indian hemp.
First prosecution witness, police constable 13716 Joseph Stevens who doubles as a forensic analyst, attached to the Transnational Organized Crime Unit (TOKU), and whose duties includes collecting suspected sample of drugs, examine and analyse them, recognized the accused in the dock.
He testified that on the17th July 2021 he was on duty when he was given a quantity of dried leaves suspected to be “Kush” for examination. He continued that upon receiving the samples he invited the accused for him to be present while collecting the samples. He said the samples weighed 15 kilograms.
All the samples were wrapped in a bag with the inscription DHL on red and white coloured tape. He added that each of the bags were opened, adding that random samples were collected before he took them to the Connaught Hospital for examination.
“At the lab, an independent sample examination was performed to examine its physical morphology, while each sample was given a unique identification letter marked as A to H” he disclosed.
He furthered that a separate examination was conducted on all the samples as presumptive analysis, while microscopy criticist examination was done to determine their unique crystals examination.
He mentioned that B solution which is potassium hydroxide was applied on all samples and was observed for 15 minutes, adding that relative to the application, the following observations were clearly noticed that the suspected samples were found to be dried leaves with a sticky feel and pungent odour.
He added that phenol crystals were observed under microscope indicating the presence of cannabinoid and ethanol hydroxide added to all samples indicated the prior purple corroboration.
He said the results were indicated that B solution added to all samples indicated the presence of synthetic cannabinol, phenol Crystal present under microscope also indicated synthetic cannabinol.
In view of the above analysis, PC Stevens revealed that the samples are positive of synthetic canabinol which is the main ingredient found in ‘Kush.’ The witness tendered the results to form part of the evidence.
Defense counsel, Charles Williams while cross-examining the witness disclosed that the scientific name for ‘Kush’ is synthetic Canabinol. This is a chemical combined and applied to a plant.
Defense counsel applied for bail on behalf of the accused. He canvassed his bail plea on Section 79 2 of the CPA of 1965. He said the consignment was sent through DHL which is an institution internationally recognized.
Police prosecutor, Superintendent of Police, Ibrahim Bangura did not object to bail.
Magistrate Sahr Kekura granted bail to the accused in the sum of Le 500 million, plus one surety whom he said must be gainfully employed and must produce his or her employment details. He said the bail is to be approved by the Master and Registrar of the Court. He adjourned the matter to the 26th August 2021. SKS/18/8/2021
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