Drug courier claims pressure

Ronny Alberto Frazier Dilbert, a Honduran national on work permit, was remanded in custody for importation of cocaine after a bail application failed on Wednesday.

Defence Attorney John Furniss said Dilbert had given an extensive statement about the circumstances that led to his becoming involved in the importation. In the statement, he said his younger brother had been seized by gangsters in Honduras and pressure was put on him to come here, Mr. Furniss summarised.

Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale asked if he were saying this would be a defence of duress and Mr. Furniss agreed.

Dilbert, 23, was arrested on Monday, 9 June, after arriving at Owen Roberts Airport on a flight from Honduras. He was first taken to court on Friday, 13 June.

No certificate of analysis for the substance was available on that date, but a Customs officer indicated the weight was about one pound.

Mr. Furniss made the bail application this week after checking whether certain of Dilbert’s family members would be accepted as sureties to guarantee his return to court.

He pointed out it would take considerable time to get the matter to Grand Court and then get a trial date.

The magistrate said she thought Dilbert was a huge flight risk: He is a foreigner charged with an extremely serious offence in a country where every few feet of coastline could serve as a dock.

She noted the family members here who would stand as sureties were also foreigners on work permits.

Dilbert was advised of his right to appeal her decision in the Grand Court.

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