The police have applied to revoke the bail that was granted to a 24-year-old Chinese national accused of methamphetamine trafficking.
During his first court appearance on August 15, Hong Fei Wu was granted $100,000 bail by Senior Magistrate Armina Deonarinesingh.
When the case came up for hearing yesterday, police prosecutor acting Cpl Gervais made an oral application for the bail to be revoked for breaching the conditions set by her.
Cpl Gervais claimed that although Wu stated that he resides and will continue to reside in Gulf View, La Romain, for the duration of the case, investigations revealed that the property has been unoccupied since March.
Wu’s lawyer, Larry Williams, has made an application to vary bail conditions related to his address.
Williams claimed that after his first court appearance, his client’s address was published by the T&T Police Service (TTPS).
“His address was in the newspapers so he was scared for his safety,” Williams said, as he claimed his client had already signed a lease for an apartment in Marabella.
He claimed that he could not respond directly to the claims over the property his client claimed to be living at until the TTPS files a written application and provides evidence.
Williams also claimed that his client was concerned with comments made by National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds about the case.
Addressing media personnel after attending a regional security conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain last week, Hinds took issue with foreign nationals accused of serious crimes being granted reasonable bail.
Referring directly to Wu’s case, Hinds also questioned whether he (Wu) fled the country after accessing bail, as was done by three fellow Chinese nationals, who were separately charged with ketamine manufacturing.
“The methamphetamine laboratory operator, one non-national, was arrested and much to my surprise and much to the demoralisation of the police officers involved, as they reported it to me, the man, who was given very, very easily accessible bail and God know if he may have left the country as well,” Hinds said.
At the start of the case, Williams said, “I represent Hong Fei Wu, who is clearly in Trinidad, not abroad as Mr Fitzgerald Hinds said, unfortunately.”
Williams said his client “is not running anywhere”, as he expressed hope that Hinds’ comments would not affect the outcome of the applications.
Magistrate Deonarinesingh gave the parties until Friday to file their submissions and evidence in relation to the individual applications.
She also ordered Wu to attend his court hearings from the building housing the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court, as he was found to be in a moving vehicle at the start of yesterday’s hearing and had to go to the Princes Town Police Station before it (the hearing) was allowed to continue.
According to reports, Wu, who has been residing in Trinidad for over a decade, was arrested on August 10 after Special Branch police officers executed a search warrant at an apartment in the Residences at South Park in Tarouba.
The officers allegedly found 540 grammes of the illegal drug in 23 Ziplock bags in the apartment and in Wu’s car.
They also found chemicals and equipment suspected to be used to manufacture the illegal synthetic drug that is popular in the United States but relatively unknown in T&T compared to cocaine and MDMA.
A quantity of cash and electronics including cell phones, tablets, and drones were also seized by police.
Wu was not called upon to plead to the drug trafficking charge as it (the charge) would be prosecuted indictably (before a judge and jury or a judge alone).
Wu is also being represented by Toni Roberts.