Ecstasy added to LC boat case

Four persons charged in connection with the importation of ganja after their vessel ran aground off Little Cayman returned to court this week to face a new charge – importation of Ecstasy.

Trial was to have taken place 21 February on charges relating to 300 pounds of ganja found by law enforcement officers aboard the vessel in November (Caymanian Compass, 10 December).

The defendants are Solano Bennett, Benjamin O. Robinson and Andrew N. Williams, all Jamaican nationals; and Andreis van Tongeren, who is Dutch.

The quantity of Ecstasy is about 1,580 tablets.

Defence Attorney Nicholas Dixey told the court he had advised his client, van Tongeren, that the importation of a Class A drug (such as Ecstasy) is a matter that should be tried in Grand Court. Magistrate Nova Hall then asked each defendant whether he wanted to be tried in Summary Court or Grand Court.

After von Tongeren chose Grand Court, the other three men chose Summary Court. The three are represented by Attorneys Lloyd Samson, John Furniss and Laurance Aiolfi.

The magistrate observed that when one defendant elects Grand Court, everybody charged with him also goes up to Grand Court.

The matter was adjourned until 7 March.

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