Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Judge orders seized funds to be forfeited to the Crown

Published:Saturday | December 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The Financial Investigation Division (FID) has secured the forfeiture of US$92,657.00 and $11.00 in Trinidadian currency following the seizure of cash from Dorrette Reynolds in May 2011 at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

Reynolds was about to board a flight to the twin-island republic.

On Tuesday of this week, Supreme Court Judge Llyle Armstrong ruled that the cash was unlawfully obtained or intended for use in unlawful conduct, and ordered the forfeiture of the money and interest to the Crown.

Hidden compartments

Apart from making a false declaration to airport officials, the defendant had a suitcase with false compartments containing 14 parcels of cash wrapped in plastic. However, she had denied having the money in her suitcase.

The FID relied heavily on the assistance of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Narcotics Division, which carried out the initial seizure and provided cogent evidence to the court.

On the same day, the judge also ruled in favour of the FID in another matter, ordering the forfeiture of US $11,950 plus interest. This case involved the seizure of cash in July 2010 from Kingston-based businessman Constantine Tucker at the Norman Manley International Airport. The court argued that given the failure of Tucker to properly and truthfully account for the money in any convincing way, the funds were unlawfully obtained or connected to unlawful conduct.

The FID, under its mantra, 'taking the profit out of crime', with the support of the police and other partner agencies, has vowed to move against persons suspected of dealing with proceeds of crime.