Drug-accused pilot ‘feared for life’, court told

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By Elesha George

Drug-smuggling accused former Caribbean Helicopters Limited (CHL) pilot Colin Murraine is said to have been afraid for the life of his family and had refused to say who gave him an estimated $1.7 million worth of cocaine to transport.

That’s according to the supervisor for the Tactical and Surveillance Team at the Office of National Drug and money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP), Calvin Brown, who gave his testimony to court on Wednesday.

“After a long pause and tearful eyes, he stated, “officer I’m afraid for my family. You guys need to help me, I don’t want nothing to happen to my family’,” Brown testified.

According to him, after ONDCP officers intercepted the plane on February 2 2018, Murraine requested to speak privately with one of the officers on the strike team. Brown told the court that Murraine confessed to the officer “that a man gave him two bags to carry” and that he did not know what was in the bag and could “only assume”.

“He said he was only asked to take the bags to Bermuda,” the officer said.  

Murraine then reportedly pointed the officers to the plane’s luggage compartment, where they found the two grey suitcases containing brick-like substances that resembled cocaine, concealed underneath several articles of clothing.

Officer Brown also testified that the accused had requested to speak with him privately, asking him to apologise to the captain and first officer who were also on the plane.

However, defence lawyer Wendel Robinson suggested that Brown’s testimony was circumstantial, as no written notes had been taken of the interaction between him or another officer.

The ONDCP arresting officer at the time, Ashley Christian, also testified that Murraine admitted to her that he was scared for his life and that of his family and that he was seeing strange vehicles around his home.

Read more in the DAILY OBSERVER.

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