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Drugs? What drugs? Asks import suspect

A truck driver accused of plotting to import $45,450-worth of cannabis told police who questioned him: “I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”

Supreme Court has heard the cannabis arrived in a consignment of dinnerware loaded into a blue wooden pallet that arrived on a cargo jet on May 12 2010. Customs officers discovered the drugs packed into plastic pipes which were concealed within the blocks separating the planks of the pallet.

According to prosecutor Takiyah Burgess, the consignment of dinnerware was put back in circulation and the following day, truck driver James Walker arrived at the airport to pick it up.

Ms Burgess alleged that Mr Walker asked the freight manager for the pallet as well as the dinnerware but the manager told him he could not have it because they were short of pallets.

According to the prosecutor, Mr Walker took it anyway when the freight manager’s back was turned. She said the accused man then drove to St George’s where he was stopped by the police, who searched his truck.

The consignment, which was addressed to Nicholas Minors at Dolly’s Bay Lane in St David’s, was seized, but the pallet was no longer there. Ms Burgess said it was later found hidden in some trees in St George’s.

Yesterday, the jury watched a DVD of a police interview conducted with Mr Walker, 51, of Tommy Fox Road, St David’s.

Asked to describe “Nicholas Minors,” the person who he said asked him to pick up the consignment from the airport, Mr Walker replied that he was aged in his early 30s, “brown skinned” and “probably about the same height as me, I don’t know.”–He told the officers: “I don’t really know. He just asked me to pick some stuff up. I haven’t seen him since.”

According to Ms Burgess, Nicholas Minors is a fictious name, and no such person exists.

Mr Walker denied, during his interview, that he had any conversation with a staff member at the airport about whether he could have the pallet. He also denied taking it without permission.

The officers then quizzed Mr Walker further about the pallet, which was found at the junction of Secretary Road and Somer Lane in St George’s. Mr Walker said he did not know the names of roads in St George’s although he was familiar with the town, having lived there and worked for the Corporation of St George.

“Why are you saying the pallet was on the back of my truck,” he asked the detectives. “What is it about this pallet?”

He added: “Yes, I picked up some stuff from the airport. I didn’t know what it was.”

He then repeated his question to the detectives several times about what made them think the pallet was on his truck.

“I don’t know nothing,” he said.

When asked what could have caused it to go missing from his truck, he replied: “I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”

He denies conspiring with others not before the court to import cannabis, and the case continues.

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Published March 22, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 22, 2012 at 9:30 am)

Drugs? What drugs? Asks import suspect

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