Court grants order to forfeit $426,078

Court grants order to forfeit $426,078

The Magistrates’ Court has granted three orders to the Financial Investigations Branch (FIB) of the TTPS to forfeit $426,078.95.

In the first case, officers of the FIB seized the following on March 24th, 2016:
1) TT$308,620.00
2) US $3,692.00
3) £1,830.00
4) $140.00 Canadian dollars and
5) $10.00 Netherland dollars

The money was seized from Chris Harry at Nanan Road, Lower Aranguez, by Sgt Hosein, pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act Chapter 11:27.

On 29th March, 2016, a Cash Detention Order was granted by Magistrate Gail Gonzales at the Port of Spain 4B Magistrates’ Court, to allow for continued investigations into the origin or derivation of the seized cash. The seized cash was delivered in the care of the Comptroller of Accounts, in accordance with Section 38 (5) of the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The US, Canadian dollars and Pounds were converted at the prevailing market rate and when added to the TT cash, amounted to $350,878.95. The Netherlands currency was not accepted by the Central bank and was retained as an exhibit in the matter.
PC Walcott, formerly of the FIB, conducted enquires, interviewed persons, made requests to several State agencies, received responses, and submitted a file with findings and recommendations.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) was engaged and advice sought. On 6th October, 2017, an application for forfeiture of the seized cash was laid at the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court.

On Monday 1st March, 2021, following a lengthy trial at the Port of Spain Eighth Magistrates’ Court, Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earl-Caddle via virtual hearing delivered her ruling, granting the application for the said cash to be forfeited to the State.

The State was represented by State Attorney Dylan Martin of the Office of the DPP, while Chris Harry was represented by Attorney at Law, Keith Beckles.

The Chief Magistrate ordered the sums of money, TT$308,620.00, US$3,692.00, £1,830.00, $140.00 Canadian and $10.00 Netherlands dollars, along with all accrued interest be deposited into the seized asset fund in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act.

In the second case, $33,000 in cash was seized from Keith Huggins at the Barataria Police Station by Sgt (Ag.) Davidson, of the North Eastern Division Criminal Investigation Department on March 28th, 2018.

On 29th March, 2018, Sgt (Ag.) Davidson made an application for a detention order at the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court. The matter was heard before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle, who granted the order to allow for continued investigations into the origin or derivation of the seized cash.

WPC Williams, of the FIB conducted enquires, interviewed persons, made requests to several State agencies, received responses and submitted a file with findings and recommendations. The Office of the DPP was engaged and advice sought. On 27th March, 2020, an application for forfeiture of the seized cash was laid at the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court.

On Monday 1st March, 2021, following a trial at the Port of Spain Eighth Magistrates’ Court, Chief Magistrate Busby Earl-Caddle, via virtual hearing, delivered her ruling, granting the application for the said cash to be forfeited to the State.
The State was represented by State Attorney, Ms. Osbourne of the Office of the DPP, whilst Attorney at Law, Lemuel Murphy, represented the interest of Keith Huggins.

The Chief Magistrate ordered the $33,000 along with all accrued interest be deposited into the seized asset fund in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act.
In the third case, the sums of TT$32,200.00 and US$50.00 were seized from Gabriella Jardine at the West End Police Station by Sgt Perry.

On 30th April, 2018, Sgt Perry made an application for a detention order at the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court. The matter was heard before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle, who granted the order to allow for continued investigations into the origin or derivation of the seized cash.

Cpl Nisbett, of the FIB, conducted enquires, interviewed persons, made requests to several State agencies, received responses and submitted a file with findings and recommendations. The Office of the DPP was engaged and advice sought.

On 27th March, 2020 an application for forfeiture of the seized cash was laid at the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court.
On Monday 1st March, 2021, the Chief Magistrate Busby Earl-Caddle via virtual hearing of the Port of Spain 8th Magistrates’ Court delivered her ruling, granting the application for the said cash to be forfeited to the State.

The State was represented by State Attorney Kateisha Ambrose of the Office of the DPP, whilst Attorney at Law, Ian Brooks, represented the interest of Gabriella Jardine.
The Chief Magistrate ordered the TT$32,200.00 and US$50.00 along with all accrued interest be deposited into the seized asset fund in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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