Sunday, January 19, 2014
Products of SM Jaleel and Co. ltd has for the second time in two months been used internationally in the illegal drug trade. On inspection of a 20 foot container containing cans bearing the labels of Trinidad Orange and Grapefruit juices fruit, Customs and Border Protection seized 732 pounds of cocaine at the port of Norfolk in Virginia, USA, last December 20th. The container was said to have originated from Trinidad and was en route to New York but was flagged on departure. This seizure is the largest the Port of Norfolk has experienced.
The cocaine is said to have a wholesale value of about US $12 million and a street value of as much as US$100 million which is TT$.6 billion.
Customs and Border Protection Area Port Director Mark Laria said all tools at their disposal were used for the bust including large and small scale X-ray equipment, probes and various tools and technology as well as the officers? knowledge and intuition.
SM Jaleel, known for drinks such as Viva Water, Fruita Juices and the popular children?s drink, Chubby, was also involved in another incident earlier last month. A Pear D soft drink bottle laced with a liquid cocaine concoction is said to be reason for the death of a 32 year old Royal Navy veteran in the United Kingdom, Joromie Lewis,who succumbed shortly after consuming the beverage.
No arrests have been made but the company has stated that an internal investigation has been launched into the cocaine bust involving its products.