PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad–    In what’s being termed the largest cocaine bust ever here, two employees of an aviation services company and two security guards are among five people charged with attempting to ship the drugs to New York from Piarco International Airport.

Krystel Birot, 24, and 27-year-old Maurice Hinds, both employees of Swissport which handles all ground and cargo handling services at the airport; employees of Intercept Security, Kyle Jones, 23, and K’dere Lee Gomez, 27; and 45-year-old labourer Marlon Thomas, are accused of possession of almost 38.8 kilogrammes of cocaine, with an estimated street value of TT$34.72 million (US$5.2 million).

A statement from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) disclosed that the drugs were found in two suitcases which were being loaded into the cargo hold of a Caribbean Airlines aircraft that was about to depart for New York around 10:45 p.m. on Sunday.

One suitcase contained 38 packages of cocaine, while the other held 39.

The arrests followed an investigation by the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit.