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Suspect vanishes without a trace


Just a couple hours after a ruling by the Court of Appeal that he be extradited to the United States of America on cocaine charges, Vincentian national, Cecil Boatswain, vanished without a trace.

The Court of Appeal which was sitting in Dominica on November 13, 2006 upheld a Vincentian High Court ruling that he be transferred to the United States to answer the charges laid against him.{{more}}

SEARCHLIGHT understands that when the police went to take him into custody he could not be found and when quizzed on Wednesday afternoon, just before press time, Prosecutor Camillo Gonsalves confirmed that the man had not been located by police.

American authorities alleged that Boatswain was part of a cocaine ring using women as mules to transport cocaine to New York.

It is understood that he was allegedly strapping the drug to women and flying them out to New York.

The women, who were caught, allegedly fingered Boatswain as the brainchild of the operation. The US then requested his extradition to answer charges after being indicted by a grand jury on February 10, 2005 on eight drug charges relating to possession and exportation.

The matter was first heard in the Magistrate’s Court in Kingstown on May 4, 2006 where it ordered that Boatswain be extradited.

Defense counsels, Richard Williams, Arthur Williams and Bertram Stapleton appealed the decision.

The case was sent to the High Court on May 11, 2006 where Justice Bruce Lyle ordered that the defendant be extradited to the US to answer the charges.

The defense team again appealed the matter and was sent to the Court of Appeal on October 10.

It is alleged that he exported more than four kilos of cocaine to the United States. Under US law, he would be charged as a drug king pin, which carries a maximum of life imprisonment.