Money laundering case shifted to next year
The three Montego Bay men who were arrested two years ago by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) in connection with an international money laundering ring have had their trial shifted to next year.
The decision was taken when the three men, who were arrested on August 30, 2013, appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday before presiding magistrate Natalie Hart-Hines to answer to the charges against them.
The trio, Robert Dunbar, a building contractor of Hatfield Meadows in Montego Bay; Delroy Gayle of Bogue Village; and businessman Louis Smith of Porto Bello, will be tried between January 8 and February 16, 2016.
Attorney-at-law Martyn Thomas, who is representing Gayle, told The Gleaner that while the trial was to have begun on Monday, the new dates were given to facilitate the defendants' lawyers receiving documents concerning the prosecution's intended key witness, who is said to be serving time in prison in the United States on drug charges.
"We requested the statements of the case in the United States involving the key witness for the prosecution," said Thomas, in acknowledging that the trial dates would be between next January 8 and February 16.
In an earlier submission, the prosecution told the court that they planned to call some 10 witnesses during the trial.
Dunbar, Gayle, and Smith, were taken into custody during simultaneous raids at their respective homes by officers from MOCA, who worked in collaboration with the Financial Investigations Division. They were formally charged on Sunday, September 1, 2013.
The prosecution's key witness, who has already given a statement to the local authorities, is alleging that the three defendants are part of an international drug syndicate.
Indications are that the United States authorities are watching the case quite closely as they reportedly have an interest in having the three men extradited to that country to answer a range of charges in their court system.