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US$1.6 million confiscated, two busted on yacht

US$1.6 million confiscated, two busted on yacht


A staggering US$1.6 million in cash has been confiscated by local authorities, and two men have been arrested and jointly charged in connection with the haul.{{more}}

Winston Robertson, a 65-year-old retired sailor of Bermuda, and Kenneth Andrews, a 38-year-old seaman of Trinidad and Tobago, appeared before the Serious Offences Court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to two counts of money laundering. Both men were denied bail and remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison until June 18.

The men were charged with concealing on a yacht, “Jotobin”, US$1.6 million (EC,$4.3 million), which is whole or part of proceeds of criminal conduct at Calliaqua on Saturday, April 5, at 3pm. They were also charged with bringing into St Vincent and the Grenadines on yacht “Jotobin” money which in whole or part, directly or indirectly, represents another person’s proceeds of illegal conduct at the same date, place and time.

Robertson was also further charged with entering St Vincent and the Grenadines without notifying the Customs. He also pleaded not guilty to this charge.

Representing both accused, defence counsel Stephen Williams requested that an early trial date be set and both men be given bail. He was, however, turned down by Chief Magistrate Sonya Young.

Leading the prosecution’s case, Grenville Williams, of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), requested a three-month adjournment in the matter to accommodate further investigations. He added that further charges might be laid against both accused. Williams stated that further evidence would be sought from outside the jurisdiction to assist with the matter.

SEARCHLIGHT has also confirmed from a police source that a local businessman had also been detained in connection with the cash haul, but was subsequently released.