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More witnesses to take the stand in ‘Que Pasa’ matter

More witnesses to take the stand in ‘Que Pasa’ matter

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Three more prosecution witnesses took the stand yesterday, giving testimony against the three men who are charged with the largest cash bust in the history of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).{{more}}

Antonio “Que Pasa” Gellizeau, Bermudian Winston Robinson, and Trinidadian Kent Andrews returned to the Serious Offences Court yesterday to answer to several charges.

Gellizeau is charged with concealing on the Yacht “Jotobin” on April 5, 2008, at Calliaqua, property of US$1,733,463 (EC$4,628,346), which in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, represents proceeds of criminal conduct. He is also charged with bringing the money into St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the yacht.

Both Andrews and Robinson were charged with concealing US$1,733,463 (EC$4,628,346) on the yacht Jotobin on April 5, 2008 at Calliaqua, knowing or suspecting or having reasonable grounds to suspect, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly that the money represented another person’s proceeds of criminal conduct. They are also charged with bringing the money into St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Winston Robinson was also charged with entering SVG without notifying the Comptroller of Customs of the intended time of arrival.

One of the witnesses called yesterday was secretary at JT Yachting SVG Ltd, Sylma Jacobs of Arnos Vale.

In her testimony, Jacobs said the yacht Jotobin had been owned by JT Yachting SVG Ltd and then later sold. Jacobs said sometime between December 2007 and January 2008, she received a telephone call and noted that she had a short conversation with the person.

Twenty minutes later, Jacobs said Gellizeau showed up at her home, introduced himself as “Tony” and they spoke for a short time. The witness said she was supposed to collect US$10,000 from Gellizeau, but he only presented her with a little over US$9,000.

After the money was received, Jacobs said she contacted her boss, Antonio Genchi, Italian businessman and managing director of JT Yachting SVG Ltd.

She said she deposited the money into the account of JT Yachting and paid certain expenses with the money and sent the balance to Genchi.

Genchi, who had given testimony when the case was first heard, said that Gellizeau bought the vessel, but the price was reduced to US$85,000, from US$100,000, because of problems encountered with the boat.

Under cross-examination by Trinidadian defense lawyer, Theodore Guerra, Jacobs said she did not have a record of the money that she allegedly received from Gellizeau.

When asked if she had receipts or records of the bills she paid with the money, Jacobs also said no.

“So there is no record at all as to the purpose for which that money was paid?” Guerra questioned. She replied, “No!”

Jacobs also said that she gave a statement to the police “years after”. When asked if she consulted any records to give a statement, Jacobs again replied, “No!”

In outlining some of her functions as secretary, Jacobs said it involves keeping a record of transactions and receipts of business conducted.

Guerra asked if she knew where those books (records) are today and Jacobs replied, “I don’t know because I work from home now…I now keep these books at home.”

Jacobs revealed to the court that she was made director of the company recently. When quizzed about if she knows what are the duties of a director of a company, she replied, “Not really.”

Retired Surgeon, Dr Arthur Cecil Cyrus, also took the stand yesterday. Cyrus stated that he sold lands to Gellizeau back in 2001 at Brighton, Salt Pond. Cyrus said in November 2001, he sold one acre of land to Gellizeau at a cost of $347,240. He noted that Gellizeau paid the first instalment of over $50,000.

A second acre of land was later sold to Gellizeau, but in a police statement, Cyrus could not recall at what price it was sold.

Cross-examination was, however, deferred by defense counsel, Guerra, St. Lucian Alberton Richelieu and Stephen Williams, for some housekeeping matters to be taken care of.

Sergeant Patrick Scholar of the St. Lucia Police Force also gave testimony in the matter.

Both Robinson and Andrews were met onboard the Jotobin where police officers discovered transparent plastic bags containing United States currency. The monies were allegedly hidden in a metallic tank covered with foam, just below the boat of the bow.

The matter continues today at the Serious Offences Court. Senior Counsel Gilbert Peterson leads the case for the crown.

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