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Roger Khan

Businessman Roger Khan yesterday expressed surprise at reports that he had been indicted in the United States by a New York grand jury on a charge of conspiring to import cocaine into that country.

Stabroek News was unable to confirm the reports but the businessman's lawyer, Glenn Hanoman said last night that both he and Khan learnt of the charge on a local newscast last evening. Hanoman said he would endeavour today to find out whether there was any truth in the matter. Asked how his client reacted to the news, Hanoman said Khan said he was extremely surprised. The lawyer further stated that only Khan would know why he is surprised.

Khan, who is also wanted by the local police force in connection with items found during a March 19 search of a number of places associated with him, has been in hiding for almost two months now although he has had several lawyers battling for him in the High Court.

According to information seen by Stabroek News, Khan was charged in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 963 and 952 (a). Section 952(a) makes it a crime to import a controlled substance into the US and Section 963 makes it a crime to conspire to do the same.

Under US law, conspiring simply means to agree with at least one other person to do something that is illegal, such as importing cocaine.

The report further stated that under US statutory law, Khan faces a minimum of ten years to a maximum of life in prison for the offence based on the amount of cocaine imported.

Several weeks ago the local police had issued wanted bulletins for Khan, Gerald Pereira and former policemen, Paul Rodrigues and Ricardo Rodrigues. However, the four through their lawyers, Hanoman and Vic Puran, reacted to the bulletins published in the newspapers by sending a letter to the Commissioner of Police stating that they had no confidence in the police force he heads and that the police have no authority to issue wanted bulletins for anyone for questioning. Demanding an apology, the three had also told the commissioner that if they had any evidence to charge them for any crime they could indicate this to their lawyers who would ensure that they attend court. Crime Chief Henry Greene then wrote back to the lawyers advising them that the police had the power to ask the men to go in for questioning and saying if they knew where their clients were they should turn them in or they could be held accountable.

The following day the lawyers moved to the High Court and secured an order nisi from Justice William Ramlal directing Commissioner Winston Felix to show cause why the bulletins should not be quashed.

That matter is still pending.

Stabroek News