Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Ja: Jailed mule was forced

ON MARCH 9, civil engineer Karl Burrell was sentenced to three years imprisonment at hard labour and fined half a million dollars for possession of and attempting to export almost a kilogramme (2lbs) of cocaine.

When Burrell, who is a British citizen, appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's court to answer the charges, he admitted that he was guilty of the offences, but told an interesting story along with that admission.

Burrell told the court that he had come to Jamaica on vacation. One day he was sitting in a bar with friends in Milk River, Clarendon, when some men struck up a conversation with him. He and the men became friends.

Burrell said that the time had come for him to go back to the United Kingdom, and he visited the same area to bid his new found friends goodbye. However, they apparently had a different plan.

"They took me to a house and a gun was put to my head. I was forced to swallow some pills and they took me to the airport," Burrell told the court.

His kidnappers told him that somebody would meet him when he got to England. However, he never got there, and the court did not take his story about being forced into being a mule as a defence.

But suprisingly he might have been telling the truth.
...
A policeman attached to that division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) told THE STAR that they have heard this story before. "He is not the first one to have told us about being kidnapped. Investigations have revealed that there is a ring operating in that part of Clarendon," the policeman told THE STAR.
...
One reason they seem to be getting away was told by Burrell when he appeared in court. "A policeman who saw me at the KPH (Kingston Public Hospital) kept telling me not to say anything, keep my mouth shut."
Looks like the cops are in on it. The guards need to be guarded. So, will the court now release Burrell?

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