Drug importer loses appeal

A man convicted of a plot to import cannabis to Bermuda using his mother’s name on the package has lost an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Tafari Wilson, 36, lodged an appeal against his conviction after trial by magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo in March last year for conspiring to import more than 427 grams of the drug, which was found in a package addressed to his mother.

Wilson, of Devonshire, argued on appeal that Mr Tokunbo did not give adequate reasons for his decision and that he failed to direct himself on how to handle circumstantial evidence.

Acting Justice Delroy Duncan said in a written judgment last week that magistrates must provide a reasoned decision at the end of a trial.

He added he found Mr Tokunbo’s judgment showed he had properly directed himself on the issues of the case.

The Acting Justice dismissed the appeal and said: “The evidence demonstrates that the appellant showed a singular and persistent interest to obtain the package with which he now asserts he was evidentially unconnected. “In my view, the evidence adduced at trial does support the rational inference that the appellant knew the imported package contained the controlled drug cannabis.”

Mr Justice Duncan ordered Wilson to return to Magistrates’ Court for sentence.

Wilson was found guilty in Magistrates’ Court in March last year. He claimed that he had collected the package for his mother and did not know what it contained.

Magistrates’ Court heard the package arrived on the island from Canada on November 11, 2015 and contained household items including pillows, which were used to conceal the drugs.

The court heard Wilson went to the Air Canada office on November 14 in an attempt to collect the package

Wilson paid the fees and gave his own mobile phone number as a contact for the delivery.

He collected the package when it was delivered on November 18 and put it in a shed outside his home.

Wilson’s mother was off the island when the package was delivered and did not return until December.

She told police she knew nothing about the delivery or the shipper.

She added that when she placed online orders she had them shipped to a United States address.

Shipping documents were found in Wilson’s bedroom in the pocket of a jacket.

Mr Tokunbo found Wilson guilty and said he was not a “witness of truth”.

He added: “I did not find him to be fully credible about his interest in, and connection with, the package or about why he never told his mother about the arrival of the package for her, in which he had no interest.”

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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