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Colombian man caught at airport with ‘nuff’ cash

Colombian man caught at airport with ‘nuff’ cash

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Carlos Arango Isaza, a 56-year-old farmer of Colombia, arrested at the E T Joshua Airport Monday night after he breached the customs regulations, begged authorities not to deport him at the end of his case in the Serious Offences Court Tuesday.{{more}}

Police said Isaza arrived aboard a Caribbean Star flight from St. Kitts around 7:25 p.m. Monday. While he was at the Immigration desk, a plain clothes police officer attached to the Narcotics Division observed him behaving nervously as he pulled large stacks of cash from his pockets.

The plain clothes officer approached the Colombian visitor and saw that he had filled out a Customs Declaration Form on which he did not indicate he carried cash in excess of EC$10,000.

When the officer searched the visitor some US$6,703 and EC$3,171 were found in his pockets. The cash amounted to EC$21,068.01.

Isaza was charged with having knowingly or recklessly made and signed a Customs Declaration Form that he knew to be false, by ticking “no” to the question as to whether he had over EC$10,000 or its equivalent.

The Colombian visitor appeared before the Serious Offences Court Tuesday afternoon and pleaded guilty to the charge.

Asked if he had anything to say regarding the excess money, he told Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman that he did not pay attention to the money to know whether it was US or EC dollars. He apologized, saying there was no mal-intent on his part.

Chief Magistrate Churaman in her judgement ordered that Izaza pay EC$1,000 forthwith or three months in prison and that the sum of EC$11,068.01, the excess allowable amount, be forfeited to the State.

The balance of $9000 remained the property of the visitor.

The Chief Magistrate further recommended that Isaza, who had been granted two days stay in the country by Immigration, be deported.



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