Ali and Grace remanded in connection to 12kg cocaine

February 22, 2024 4:53 pm

Grace Katia Liuvoliga (left), Alzaid Shain Ali

Two individuals, charged in relation to the seizure of more than 12 kilograms of cocaine last week have been remanded by the Lautoka Magistrate Court today.

The charges against 48-year-old Alzaid Shain Ali and 19-year-old Grace Katia Liuvoliga include two counts of unlawful possession of illicit drugs and one count of attempted unlawful exportation of illicit drugs.

The alleged incident, which took place on February 15, 2024, at the Vuda bypass in Lautoka, implicates the accused in the transfer and transport of 12.33kg of cocaine to Field 40 without lawful authority.

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DPP Principal Legal Officer Lautoka, Alvin Singh, opposed bail citing the gravity of the charges, potential witness interference, substantial amount of drugs involved, and the risk of absconding.

Singh also revealed that Ali faces pending cases at the Nadi Magistrate Court, including charges of criminal intimidation and unlawful possession of illicit drugs, allegedly committed while on bail.

Singh emphasized the increased judicial presence at the Lautoka court, suggesting the possibility of an early trial, countering defense concerns about prolonged legal proceedings.

In defense, lawyer Iqbal Khan argued for bail, alleging unlawful detention of his clients for five days, claiming they were subjected to interrogation across various police stations to induce stress and soften them up.

Khan refuted the previous allegations against Ali, stressing they remain unproven in court.

He also questioned the basis of charging the defendants while investigations are ongoing and appealed for their release, citing potential lengthy remand durations.

Despite the defense’s plea, the Magistrate denied the bail application, deciding to transfer the matter to the Lautoka High Court for further proceedings.

As the two were taken to the holding cell, Ali was not friendly towards the media as he tried to hit cameras pointed at him.

Their lawyer Khan also stated outside the courtroom to the media that today’s session basically gives Police the right to hold people on custody for more than 48 hours which goes against the constitution.

They will reappear on the 4th of March.