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Mum who was paid £1,300 to smuggle £170k of cocaine into UK was caught at Manchester Airport



A mum who was paid £1,300 in the Caribbean to smuggle more than £170,000-worth of cocaine into the UK has been jailed for three years – condemning her to live more than 4,000 miles away from her young daughter.

Chantel Fullerton, 27, agreed to act as a drugs mule after losing her job as a carer on the island of Grenada.

She was arrested in August after a drug sniffer dog detected the white powder in her luggage as she arrived at Manchester Airport.

Immigration officers searched her cases and discovered four packages sewn into the corners – and three further packages in the base. The 2kg haul had a street value of £171,000.

Fullerton denied knowing about the drugs, claiming she had travelled to the UK to attend the Notting Hill Carnival in London.

But investigators found a hand written note in her pocket saying a woman had paid her £1,386 and there was a further receipt of £1,200 for the flights.

Minshull Street Crown Court

At Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court, Fullerton who has been incarcerated at Styal women’s prison in Cheshire, pleaded guilty to the importation of class A drugs.

Her six-year-old daughter is currently being cared for by her sister back in Grenada.

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Prosecutor Miss Lisa Boocock told the hearing: “The defendant was effectively a mule and two kilos of cocaine were found in total.

“The defendant is from Grenada, and she came to Manchester and came by Jamaica, then came to Manchester Airport. On August, 23, a drugs dog detected something in the luggage aisle.


“When the defendant collected her luggage, she was questioned by Immigration officers and she told them a story that she had been travelling to the country for the Notting Hill Carnival. Located in a pocket was a written note that a woman had paid her £1,386 in sterling. 

“There was a further receipt of £1,200 for the flights.

“She was then presented with her suitcase which was subjected to a search, and officers discovered seven packages of cocaine. Four packages were concealed on the corners of the suitcase, and three were found in the base of the suitcase under the lining. They were of 74 per cent and 70pc purity.

“The commercial price of the total amount of cocaine was calculated as £66,000.

“The street price was calculated up to £171,000. She was arrested and interviewed, but denied the offence. She said she had no knowledge of the cocaine in the suitcase.

“The defendant is 27 and has no previous convictions in this country”.


In mitigation, defence lawyer Alexander Leech said: “There was some financial advantage. It’s important to know she involved herself with this offence, without looking at her present circumstances, there is some degree of naivety.

“She had no influence on those above her in the chain. It was not her own operation. There was two kilos discovered, which equals a six year starting point in terms of imprisonment.

“She is away from her daughter and she is overwhelmed by the seriousness of the crime. She is trying to return to her. She is a woman of good character. She lost her career as a carer.

“She has lost contact with her six year old, who doesn’t know what to expect.

“She has occasional telephone contact, and her sister is currently caring for the child. This weighs upon her. She is aware she will be missing the key formative years of her daughter’s life whilst she is incarcerated in another country.


“There is a debt of despair on her.

“Couple that with a sense of remorse for her behaviour. It is not uncommon for women in her position who are targeted. She acknowledges her stupidity for the sum of £1,300. She is a single mother.”

Sentencing her, Judge Paul Lawton said: “Like many other women in your position, you were targeted and you imported white power, namely cocaine, into Manchester Airport.

“On August 23 this year, the drugs were disguised in a sophisticated way, but were detected by a drug detection dog. You denied knowledge of the drugs, but when this case came before this court, you admitted your guilt.

“You are 27 and a single mother of your six year old daughter. You have been separated from her in a foreign jurisdiction in HMP Styal.

“I am able to reduce the sentence from the starting point for the guilty plea and for the significant mitigation. You may be returned to Grenada upon your release, but that is for the relevant authorities”.

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Caribbean & World

CIBC FirstCaribbean donates US$250,000 to regional Covid-19 fight




Regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean is moving to assist countries across the region to purchase much-needed Covid-19 testing kits.

The bank, through its charitable arm the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation, will donate a total of US$250,000 toward the purchase of the kits in the countries across its regional footprint. The bank will make the donation through its various operating companies across the Caribbean.

Chief Executive Officer of the bank and Chair of the foundation, Colette Delaney, made the announcement noting, “testing was one of the main weapons in the arsenal against the spread of the disease.” She added, “community spread is one of the main ways the virus is transmitted and testing is key to identify, isolate and treat those affected and limit its spread.”

Delaney thanked the region’s “public health leadership, medical professionals and frontline workers and others involved in the essential work of keeping our communities safe and functioning during this very difficult time.”

The donation follows the bank’s recent announcements of a suite of relief assistance to eligible clients including:

  • 6-month payment moratoria on existing loans and mortgages.
  • Temporary revolving or working capital financing options for our Corporate Banking and Business Banking clients.
  • A special waiver of late payment fees and default interest to all eligible Retail, Business, Banking, Corporate Investment Banking and Wealth Management Clients effective for the 6 month moratorium period for existing loans and mortgages.
  • Credit cardholders automatically benefitting from a payment waiver for 3 months based on their current account standing.

Delaney noted, “Our response has been in the spirit of partnership that has always existed between the bank and the people of the region. This two-pronged approach has allowed us to not only contribute to the national response in each of the countries in which we operate, but to directly assist our clients who are affected.”

Delaney also noted that many of the bank’s staff are choosing to make personal donations to the various relief programmes in their islands across the Caribbean and thanked them for their generosity.

“Our employees are known for their calm and professional response, particularly in a crisis. We thank them for their generosity and commitment to continuing to provide service to our clients in these most unusual of circumstances.”

CIBC FirstCaribbean has a staff of approximately 3,000 across 16 Caribbean countries.

CIBC FirstCaribbean

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Caribbean & World

Prime Minister’s National Address: 30 Mar 2020




Press Conference – Prime Minister Dr. Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell

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Caribbean & World

Head of State requested to prepare Leader of Opposition instrument of appointment




by Linda Straker

  • Clement is MP for constituency of St George North East
  • Resigned as a member of New National Party in 2019
  • Has spoken with Governor-General regarding instrument of appointment 

Tobias Clement, Member of Parliament for the constituency of St George North East, has confirmed that he has had a conversation with Governor-General Dame Cecile La Grenade requesting her to prepare the instrument of appointment that will make him the elected Leader of the Opposition in the Lower House of Parliament.

“I requested the instrument be prepared and right now I am awaiting further instructions from her office,” Clement said on Monday. He is not certain if he will be able to take his oath of office before the mandatory 7-day curfew which officially starts at 7 pm today. “I am really hoping it can be done today.”

Clement, in December 2019, implied he would be taking up the post of Leader of Opposition after he resigned as a member of the ruling New National Party (NNP).

In both the 2013 and 2018 General Elections, the NNP won all 15 seats in the Lower House of Parliament and on both occasions, Clement opted to be a government backbencher. However, as of mid-2019, he began indicating during parliamentary sessions, that he would cross the floor.

As Leader of the Opposition, he will have the right to appoint 3 opposition senators in the Upper House of Parliament, have a functioning office at the Parliament Building and operate his constituency parliamentary office.

He said that his goal is to first receive his instrument of appointment and then focus on appointing his senators. “We will deal with the appointment of senators in the future, the focus now is receiving the instrument of appointment,” he said without explaining his decision to take up the post amid a Limited State of Emergency.

Grenada is presently under a 21-day Limited State of Emergency as part of its social distancing measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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