Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Businesswoman, relatives charged with money laundering

Published:Saturday | March 25, 2017 | 3:00 AM

A Manchester businesswoman, her son and sister have been arrested and charged by the police for allegedly purchasing a number of properties valued at more than $100 million from the proceeds of drug trafficking.

Detectives from the Financial Investigations Division and the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigations Branch (CTOC) arrested and charged Manchester businesswoman Eva Mae Sterling, her son Nicholas Chang, and her sister, Marline Ledford of a St Catherine address, for money laundering offences.

CTOC reported that the charges follow a culmination of intensive local and international efforts by law-enforcement entities. According to the police, the money used to purchase the properties represented the proceeds of drug trafficking activities that a close relative was involved in before being convicted in the United States in 2013.

Chang, Ledford and Sterling were subsequently charged for breaches of the Proceeds of Crime Act and placed before the Half-Way Tree Parish Court yesterday. Each defendant was offered bail in the sum of $700,000 with surety.

The accused persons were ordered by the court to surrender their travel documents. The parties are to return to court on July 7.

"This investigation is indicative of the continued joint approach being utilised by local and overseas investigators in effectively identifying, tracing and seizing property believed to be derived from criminal conduct, whether situated locally or overseas," a release from the Ministry of Finance stated.