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February 28, 2013
Star News


 

Canadian on drug charge offered bail

Christopher Thomas, STAR Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

A Canadian woman accused of attempting to smuggle cocaine in several food and drink packages was offered $1 million bail in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Jenisa Willabus, 19, a university student from Ontario, is charged with possession of, dealing in and attempting to export 40 and three-quarter pounds of cocaine, and is to return to court on April 16.

Allegations are that on January 28, Willabus attempted to board a flight to Canada at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay when her suitcase was searched.

During the search, 17 food drink packs and a number of cake mix packages were found inside the suitcase, and when opened, they were found to contain a white substance resembling cocaine. Willabus was subsequently arrested and charged.

In court, Willabus' lawyer Martyn Thomas made a successful bail application, arguing that she had no knowledge of the drug and that she is currently suffering illness.

"She (Willabus) had come to Jamaica to visit with friends. It is a situation where she denies knowledge of the contents of the packages," Thomas told Resident Magistrate Sandria Wong-Small.

"We have reports from her doctors overseas present this morning ... she has several ailments that she is suffering from, and she has since developed several other ailments. Because of her stomach ailments, she is on a special diet at the Freeport lock-up, and at times preparing her meals poses a challenge."

Meanwhile, clerk of the court Natalie Malcolm expressed opposition to Willabus getting bail, citing concern about whether the defendant would return to court.

"The overriding concern is whether this woman will return for trial if she is granted bail. I understand her passport is in police custody, but people have found ingenious ways to leave the island," Malcolm told the court, adding that the forensic certificate is outstanding from the prosecution's case file.

"There is nothing to suggest that she will abscond if she is offered bail," Thomas replied.

RM Wong-Small subsequently offered bail to Willabus with three sureties. As conditions of her bail, she was ordered to reside with relatives in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, and to report to the Santa Cruz Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The magistrate also made a stop-order to be placed at all ports of entry to prevent Willabus from leaving Jamaica.

"Ma'am, you cannot leave until these matters are dealt with," RM Wong-Small advised Willabus, before setting the case for mention.

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