Court sei­zes $2.2M in un­de­cla­red cur­r­en­cy

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

Re-mi­grant Gu­y­a­ne­se Clair­mont Reid is coun­ting los­ses to­ta­ling $2,264,425 (US$11,045.98) af­ter the mo­nies we­re for­fei­ted from him by Chief Ma­gi­stra­te Ann McLen­nan; he was al­so fi­ned $250,000 with an al­ter­na­ti­ve of six months’ im­prison­ment for fai­ling to de­cla­re the cash whi­le he was an in­co­ming pas­sen­ger at the Ched­di Ja­gan In­ter­na­ti­o­nal Air­port (CJIA).

Reid, 37, of South Vry­heid Lust, East Coast De­me­ra­ra was char­ged for kno­win­gly ma­king an un­true de­cla­ra­ti­on on a cus­t­oms de­cla­ra­ti­on form. In an ans­wer to ques­ti­on fi­ve on the form, he tick­ed that he was car­rying less than US$10,000, when he was car­rying TT$139,135 which is equi­va­lent to US$21,045.98. Ini­ti­al­ly, the fa­ther of three had plea­ded not guil­ty to the char­ge and was re­lea­sed on $100,000 bail. Howe­ver, he op­ted to plead guil­ty yes­ter­day, af­ter re­cei­ving ad­vi­ce from his At­tor­ney, Dex­ter Todd. Po­li­ce Pro­se­cu­tor, Ne­vil­le Jef­fers, told the court that the mo­nies we­re sei­zed from Reid by Cus­t­oms Of­fi­cers at the CJIA on Ju­ne 6, last. He said that the man was at the ti­me an in­co­ming pas­sen­ger at the air­port af­ter di­sem­bar­king a Ca­rib­bean Air­li­ne flight from Tri­nidad and To­ba­go. Jef­fers said that Reid up­lif­ted his bag­ga­ge and hand­ed over the de­cla­ra­ti­on form to a Cus­t­oms Of­fi­cer. “Upon chec­king the form it was ob­ser­ved that Reid tick­ed no to the fifth ques­ti­on he was re­qui­red to ans­wer,” Jef­fers re­la­ted.

Ac­cor­ding to the Pro­se­cu­tor, the ques­ti­on sta­ted, “I am (we are) car­rying cur­r­en­cy or mo­ne­ta­ry in­stru­ment over US$10,000 or equi­va­lent.” Pro­se­cu­tor Jef­fers dis­clo­sed that the mo­nies we­re une­art­hed af­ter a search was con­duc­ted on Reid’s lug­ga­ge. Du­ring the search he told the Cus­t­oms Of­fi­cer that the­re is a pos­si­bi­li­ty he might be car­rying Tri­nidad and To­ba­go cur­r­en­cy. The pro­se­cu­tor sta­ted that Reid was ques­ti­o­ned as to why he fai­led to de­cla­re the cash and told of­fi­ci­als that he was car­rying mo­nies for per­sons and did not see the need sta­te it on the de­cla­ra­ti­on form. The Spe­ci­al Or­ga­ni­zed Cri­me Unit (SOCU) took pos­ses­si­on of the TT$139,135 to con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­ti­ons.


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