The offences were:
• 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.
• 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.
This was confirmed in a government issued press release issued earlier today.
According to the details outlined in the Crown’s case the series of events were recollected in the press release.
According to the Crown, 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. The vessel was captained by Angol.
Angol travelled on the aforementioned 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. Officer Callwood inquired whether there were other items to be declared and this was answered in the negative. Officer 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.
Officer Callwood 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. Upon making this discovery, Officer Callwood brought the discovery to the attention of Angol, who denied having any knowledge that the bag was there. He similarly denied knowing anything about the contents of the bag.
The Customs personnel accordingly contacted 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 (9) months in prison on remand.
The Senior Magistrate sentenced Angol to the following:
• Untrue Declaration – Time served
• Failing to Declare Monies to Her Majesty’s Customs – Given the totality principle, (the defendant already spent 9 months in prison) – time taken into custody will be applied. A fine of $20,000 was imposed. In the event of non-payment, six months at HM Prison.
The amount of US$845,550 was forfeited to the Crown.
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