$10M bail for pastor on money laundering charges

Home*Cover Story*News

$10M bail for pastor on money laundering charges

A Chaguanas pastor who reportedly attempted to exchange over $28 million in cotton hundred dollar bills for the new polymer bills in 2019, was granted bail in the sum of $10 million when he appeared before a Port of Spain Magistrate, charged with two counts of money laundering.

VINWORTH ANTHONY DAYAL, 60, of Longdenville, was charged with two counts of money laundering contrary to Section 45 (1) (b) of the Proceeds of Crime Act, Chapter 11:27, following advice received from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Roger Gaspard SC, on Wednesday 30th June, 2021.

The accused appeared before Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 1st July, 2021, where he was granted bail and the matter adjourned to Thursday 29th July, 2021.

The accused was also ordered to surrender his passport.

In December 2019, arising out of a decision by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to demonetize cotton One Hundred Dollar Bills, officers of the Financial Investigations Branch maintained an active presence at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and other financial institutions.

On December 31st 2019, then Supt. Wendell Lucas, led a team of investigators to the Central Bank, where they seized TT$28,028,600 from a Chaguanas pastor under Section 38 of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
On January 6th 2021, the pastor’s church in Longdenville, was searched and TT$2,691,338 were seized by FIB investigators under the above Section.

An intensive investigation was launched into the source and intended use of the respective sums of cash in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act, Chapter 11:27.

Dayal was arrested on Thursday 1st July, 2021 by officers of the FIB and the Inter-Agency Task Force, led by Insp. Seecharan and Sgt. (Ag.) Codrington. He was subsequently charged on the same date with the two counts of money laundering.

Snr. Supt. Lucas has commended all the FIB investigators for their diligence in the conduct of the investigation, including Head of the Cash Seizure Team, Anil Seecharan, Head of Investigations, W/Insp. Suzette McKenzie, Senior Legal Officer, Cpl Keston Abraham, Analyst WPC Richelle Winchester-Mason and other stakeholders.