Over $10 million seized by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) from a convicted drug trafficker has been forfeited to the State.
According to a statement from the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU), the money equivalent to US$48,560, was seized and detained from Kevin Gordon because it was proceeds from a crime.
High Court Judge Navindra Singh ordered the State to transfer the currency to the Consolidated Fund as provided for according to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act Cap 10:11. The court further ordered that Gordon is to pay costs to SOCU of $1.5 million.
On Sunday, May 28, 2017, at 08:52hrs, at Parika, East Bank Essequibo, the currency was withheld from Gordon of 18 Jib Housing Scheme, Essequibo, by ranks of CANU during a search of his haversack. Also, in the haversack was 209 pounds or 94.954 kilograms of cocaine.
Gordon and another man were subsequently charged and convicted for drug trafficking. They were sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined $99 million each following a guilty ruling after a trial in the Magistrates’ Court.
According to SOCU, Gordon had denied ownership of the currency and claimed that it belonged to one Deon Williams. Williams had indicated that the currency was his property and it was derived from the sale of fuel. However, the State led evidence to prove that Williams was not licensed to deal in petroleum and petroleum products.
The court was satisfied that the penalty for breach of the Guyana Energy Agency Regulation includes imprisonment for three years. SOCU said, “The State proved its case on a balance of probability, and the court was satisfied that the currency is the proceeds of crime gave judgment in favour of SOCU by ordering the confiscation of the cash as part of the proceeds of crime.”