Shofiul Karim Tipu, a scrap iron dealer, has appeared in court charged in connection with the $2 million worth of diesel fuel seized during last year’s state of emergency. Tipu, 29, originally of Bangladesh, appeared in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court to answer two Customs charges before magistrate Marcia Murray. He is charged with making a false declaration, contrary to Section 2 (12) of the Customs Act.
He is also charged with attempting to export diesel fuel, to the value of $2 million, contrary to Section 1 (54), Chapter 78:01 of the Customs Act. Tipu pleaded not guilty to the first charge. He was not called upon to enter a plea on the second offence. Customs and Excise prosecutor, Haricharan Cassie, did not object to bail.
Tipu surrendered yesterday morning after a summons was issued for him. Murray placed him on $200,000 bail and ordered him to report to the St Joseph Police Station between 6 am and 6 pm every Monday and Friday. He will reappear in court June 12.
The 279,428 litres of diesel fuel was seized during the state of emergency when soldiers went to a barricaded compound in Sea Lots. They found 100 plastic drums containing diesel when they removed scrap iron from an abandoned trawler.