[www.inewsguyana.com] – Guyanese pilot Khamraj Lall has been arrested in Puerto Rico over cash totaling to US$620,000 which was found hidden a private plane headed for Guyana on November 22.
According media reports from the Caribbean Island, US federal agents at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport detected the large sum stashed in plastic bags.
The large sum of money had not been declared to US authorities and was detected during a routine search of the aircraft.
Lall was reportedly the passenger of a private plane that landed in Isla Verde on November 22.
It had stopped to refuel with the intention of continuing to Georgetown, Guyana according to information from the electronic file of the Federal Court.
Primera Hora said it was reported that Customs officers asked the detainee to report how much cash he was carrying. However, Lall, who was traveling with his father and the pilot of the aircraft, initially reported only US$5,000 between him and his father but later said the two had US$12,000.
US authorities require that sums over US$10,000 be reported.
On closer inspection of the plane, officers found US$150,000 first “wrapped in plastic bags and a blanket near an exit,” according to the statement of the federal agent.
Subsequently, in a compartment near a motor, several black garbage bags with the other US$470,000 were found. Lall said that all the money was his. He said his father and the pilot knew nothing about the high amount of cash carried in the aircraft, the report said.
Judge Marcos Lopez issued an arrest warrant for Lall. He faces charges of falsely filling federal reports and smuggling more than US$600,000, the report said.