Latest update May 27th, 2023 12:27 AM
Apr 13, 2017 News
-SOCU reportedly probing local properties
Embattled Guyanese born pilot, Khamraj Lall, may be facing legal worries in the US but it appears that his local businesses are fully on stream and running.
He has reportedly over the past year acquired hundreds of millions of dollars in heavy duty equipments and appears to be involved in the transportation and mining business.
Overhead shots of the Kaylees Service Station, Coverden, East Bank Demerara, which he owns, were sent to Kaieteur News this week. They indicated the presence of several heavy duty trucks and equipment.
Some of the vehicles are reportedly being used at a number of mining areas, Kaieteur News was told.
Although the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) has declined to admit it, sources have indicated that the entity has been quietly investigating Lall and his properties here.
That would be significant as the US authorities have reportedly moved to seize properties, including homes, two planes and bank accounts, of the pilot in that country. This was after he pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle more than US$600,000 in cash, believed to be from illegal proceeds, to Guyana in late 2014.
Lall became known to Guyana in a major way after Puerto Rican security officials boarded his plane, during a fuel stop, and during a search found several packets of cash hidden around the plane.
It sparked court cases which now span three US jurisdictions- Puerto Rico, New Jersey and New York.
Following his arrest and charges in Puerto Rico, Lall found himself in more trouble in July 2015 when he was arrested in New Jersey and accused by prosecutors of conspiring to bring five kilos of cocaine aboard his plane from Guyana to the US.
Shortly before those cocaine charges, the businessman who is well known in Guyana, had pleaded guilty to cash smuggling charges in a deal with US prosecutors and was out on bail awaiting sentencing.
The coke charges carry a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life and a US$10,000,000 fine.
Lall’s drug arrest was connected to that of nine other defendants in February 2015 in the US where prosecutors said they have broken a ring.
The cocaine-related charge had meant that Lall violated his bail in the bulk cash smuggling by participating in another crime.
In a plea deal submitted for the cash smuggling charges, Lall agreed for the US$620,588 along with the 1988 Israel fixed wing multi-engine aircraft bearing Registration N822Ql and used in the crime, to be forfeited. Authorities have also moved to seize another plane he owns along with properties.
Under the deal with the US Government, Lall pleaded guilty to one count – of concealing more than US$10,000 in his plane and attempting to transfer it outside of the US to Guyana.
He would have been facing up to five years on a number of charges if he had opted for a trial and found guilty, according to court documents.
Lall, who had operated from a private hangar at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and controlled KayLees Gas Station at Coverden, East Bank Demerara, has also agreed that other assets may be subject to forfeiture as there is still a pending civil matter for assets seizure in New Jersey, where he has homes, vehicles, cash and other properties.
As part of his filings, Lall, who had his licences revoked, submitted a waiver of right to trial by jury.
Lall is also facing a civil matter, with the US Government going after luxury vehicles, another plane, more than US$400,000 cash lying in several frozen bank accounts as well as at least three properties.
A hangar that was controlled and built by Lall at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport has since been taken back by the administration after the latter said that the lease agreement had expired.
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