One of eight packages of cocaine that form evidence in an on-going High Court trial, is missing from the police evidence room.
Director of Public Prosecution, Colin Williams, made the disclosure at the High Court on Monday.
Williams’ comments came at beginning of the trial in which Benjamin Harvey and Vincent Denbar, both of Union Island, are being tried on a charge of possession of 9,159 grammes (20.2lbs) of cocaine with intent to supply.
They are also charged with possession of the drug for the purpose of drug trafficking.
The charges stem from a July 3, 2014 drug bust involving officers from the Coast Guard and the Rapid Response Unit.
The Crown is alleging that the men were intercepted around 8 p.m. that day while travelling from Union Island to Bequia with the drug.
The men were committed to stand trial at the conclusion of a preliminary inquiry on Nov. 27, 2015.
At the beginning of the trial, Williams informed trial judge Justice Brian Cottle that one of the parcels of the drug was missing from the police evidence room.
He said it is believed that the drug was stolen and that an investigation has been launched.
The DPP’s comments seemed to have taken the judge by surprise.
The information presented in court so far and iWitness News’ own inquiry suggest that the drug went missing sometime between Nov. 9, 2015 and May this year.
The disappearance of one of the packages of cocaine is not expected to have an adverse effect on the Crown’s case since it went missing after it was tested and proven to be cocaine and after a preliminary inquiry, in which the drug was displayed.
The men are being tried before a nine-member jury of three males and six females.
Williams’ comments were the first “official” statements amidst widespread rumours over the past few months of cocaine being missing from the evidence room
The rumours emerged around the time when a number of officers were transferred from the Narcotics Unit and another retired after 20 years of service.
Transfers are a regular occurrence within the Police Force and iWitness News does not know of any information that suggests that the transfer was in any way linked to the disappearance of the drug.
On Sept. 27, 2017, police officers on duty at the Narcotics Base discharged a firearm at two persons who entered the compound late that night.
iWitness News was reliably informed that two unidentified persons, dressed in dark coloured clothing, entered the base at Arnos Vale.
They are said to have been behaving in a suspicious and threatening manner, triggering the reaction by the police officers on duty.
There have been no reports of police apprehending the intruders.