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Magistrate grants application for forfeiture of EC$9,350

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Chief Magistrate Sonya Young has granted an application for forfeiture of EC$9,350, which was found during the execution of a search warrant at the home of Sylvester Allen, back in October 2010.{{more}}

The forfeiture hearing was conducted on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at the Serious Offences Court.

PC Shaun Chandler testified that during the search, EC$3,350 was found hidden in a couch, wrapped in rubberbands. Chandler said, when questioned about the money, Allen told him that he had withdrawn it from his bank account.

A further search led Chandler into one of the bedrooms where $6,000 was discovered in a white Western Union envelope among some clothes. He noted that a receipt in that envelope indicated that the money was sent by one Fitzroy Farrel and received by Devon Bushay.

When quizzed about the money, Allen said it was his girlfriend’s money and that it was her brother in Montserrat who had sent it to her.

In his testimony, Corporal 518 Pedro Harry told the court that Allen’s girlfriend, Karen Bailey, also said that the money was sent by her brother in Montserrat.

Harry also testified that there is evidence at Western Union that Farrel had sent money to Allen on occasions in the past.

Chief Financial Investigator at the FIU Clauston Francis told the court that Bushay said Bailey asked him to collect money on her behalf, in his name.

Representing the respondent, Counsel Arthur Williams told the court that there was no case made out against his client in the matter. He said the person who collected the money said it was Bailey’s money.

In response to Williams’ closing arguments, attorney LaTeisha Sandy, representing the Financial Intelligence Unit said both sets of money belonged to the respondent and because the money was found in different places, is of no moment.

She pointed out that no record was ever found of Farrel sending money to Bailey, his purported sister.

She stated that eventhough the respondents said the money was for medical purposes, no evidence of that was ever shown.

Sandy said Allen gave an explanation that the money, which was found in the couch during the search, was withdrawn from his bank account and, in a police statement, he said he got the money from working in St. Maarten and from a man named Mervin Rawlins. However, when interviewed, Rawlins said that he never paid Allen to do any work for him, but Allen who was the one who paid him to do work.

After granting the forfeiture application, Chief Magistrate Young said the evidence is overwhelming and there is evidence to show that Bailey has received over $100,000, and other large sums of money from Montserrat and other countries via Western Union.(KW)

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