Pilot fails to secure bail, remanded to prison

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The attorney of a pilot accused of drug trafficking has failed to convince the All Saints Magistrates’ Court that Colin Murraine, 31, would not abscond if he secures bail. Lawrence Daniel told Magistrate Nagio Emanuel yesterday that his client is a family man with strong family and community ties who had never been in trouble with the law. Setting that statement aside, the magistrate said that Murraine, of Paynters Estate, was a pilot by profession who had the skills to operate an aircraft and could flee the state if an opportunity arises.
The chief pilot, with Caribbean Helicopters Limited (CHL), was charged with possession of 105 pounds of cocaine, exportation of the Class “A” drug, being concerned with the supply of cocaine, and drug trafficking. The father of one was nabbed on a private jet, as it readied for take-off from Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport on Friday carrying 47.51 kilogrammes of cocaine packed into two large suitcases.
The illegal drug carries a wholesale value of $1.7 million. Murraine was among four people who the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) arrested at Runway 10. The law enforcement agency said that the other three people, including two foreign pilots, have been released from custody.
The ONDCP, in a news release, said investigations are continuing and, as part of that process, the aircraft remains in the agency’s possession. If convicted of drug trafficking, Murraine faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. The accused and his legal team may try to secure bail in the High Court.

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