Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards has fined boat captain Anthony Angol $20,000 after he was found guilty of failing to declare $845,550 to local authorities.
The monies were forfeited to the Crown.
Angol was found guilty on December 14, 2020 of Untrue Declaration, contrary to section 115 (1) (a) of the Customs Management and Duties Act (No. 6 of 2010) of the Laws of the Virgin Islands
and failing to Declare Monies to Her Majesty's Customs, contrary to section 87 (4) Customs Management and Duties Act (No. 6 of 2010) of the Laws of the Virgin Islands
The Crown's case was that on Saturday, October 19, 2019, Angol was one of two men who were the occupants of a 30 foot, dark coloured, Go-fast speedboat, christened “Dark Knight,” which was powered by two 350HP Mercury outboard engines.
Angol travelled on the vessel across from the USVI to Tortola. At approximately 2:30 p.m., the vessel arrived at the West End Ferry Terminal. While there, the Angol asked for and filled out a BVI Customs declaration form, indicating that there were certain items to be declared, such as numerous motorcycle helmets.
Customs Officer Michael Callwood, who was on duty at the time, collected the completed forms that had been signed by the Angol.
According to court records, Callwood inquired whether there were other items to be declared and this was answered in the negative. It was noted that Callwood then boarded the vessel, where he conducted a search in the presence of Angol.
Also present for the search was Customs Officer Myron Hastings. During the search, Office Callwood noticed a black duffle bag in the bow of the vessel. He inquired from Angol as to the nature and contents of the bag.
Angol denied having any knowledge of the bag. The bag was opened and searched by Officer Callwood, resulting in the discovery of stacks of United States currency bills.
Angol denied having any knowledge that the bag was there.
He similarly denied knowing anything about the contents of the bag. The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force for assistance. Police officers arrived and commenced their investigations. Officers from the Financial Crime Unit met with Angol and inquired of him as to the source of the funds.
Angol maintained that he had no idea where the money came from or to whom the money belonged. The money was removed from the duffle bag and placed on the examination table and photographed. A money counting machine was used and a total of US $854,550 was recorded. Angol participated in an interview under caution, and he indicated that he had no knowledge of the monies.
Angol spent nine months in prison on remand.
The Senior Magistrate sentenced Angol to time served for the Untrue Declaration and for Failing to Declare Monies to Her Majesty's Customs, time taken into custody will be applied and a fine of $20,000 was imposed. In the event of non-payment, he has to send six months in prison.