A Guyanese man has lost more than $6M that was seized from him earlier this year at a Berbice backtrack route.
According to the Attorney General Chambers, the money Euros 24,530 ($6.3M) was seized from Michael Bagot, who was intercepted at a Springlands, Berbice crossing from Suriname on March 12th. The money was found stashed in cans of paint.
“The Springlands, Berbice crossing is not the official designated immigration point of entry between Guyana and Suriname,” the AG Chambers disclosed. “Bagot was arrested by police for failure to present himself to the Immigration authorities and failure to declare foreign currency over the prescribed limit set out by the Foreign Exchange (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Chapter 86:01, Laws of Guyana.”
According to the AG Chambers, after Bagot’s arrest, the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU)
approached the Supreme Court for an interim order to detain the sum of €24, 530.00 in accordance with Section 37 (2) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act Chapter 10:11, Laws of Guyana.
“The learned Chief Justice, Madame Roxane George, SC,” the release stated, “granted the detention order for the police to lawfully detain the currency on the 17th March, 2020, and the Order was further extended on the 12th June, 2020 for three months pending the hearing and determination of the Fixed Date Application.”
It was disclosed that the Commissioner of Police, through the Chambers of the Attorney
General, commenced legal proceedings for the civil forfeiture of the sum.
“Written submissions were made,” the release noted, “before the Honourable Madame Justice Jo- Ann Barlow. The Court eventually found that based on the manner of concealment of the monies in paint cans, it could be inferred that the monies came from unspecified criminal conduct. Further, Mr. Bagot failed to provide information disclosing the source of the said concealed sum.”
In addition, the AG Chambers said yesterday, the Court noted that Bagot, had on previous occasions, exited the jurisdiction from the designated immigration point; however, when he
re-entered Guyana, it was through the ‘backtrack’ route.
“In light of the foregoing,” the release said, “the Court ruled that the sum, of €24, 530.00 would be forfeited to the State. There was no order as to costs.”
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