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Guyanese businessman arrested allegedly with US$600K in Puerto Rico

Khamraj Lal

A Guyanese man was arrested this weekend for traveling on a plane over US$ 600,000 in cash hidden in plastic bags.

The large sum of money was allegedly not reported to federal authorities, but a dog handled by agents in the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport detected the cash stashed on the aircraft.

The detainee, Khamraj Lall, was the passenger of a private plane that landed in Isla Verde last Saturday, November 22, according to an affidavit by a federal agent.

The plane stopped in Puerto Rico to re- fuel and then continue with a trip to the city of Georgetown, in the South American country of Guyana, according to information from the electronic file of the Federal Court.

It was reported that Customs officers asked the detainee  to declare the 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 in a second report said the two had US$12,000.

However, a team of federal agents found that indeed had more cash on the plane. US authorities require that sums are reported in cash over $ 10,000.

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. Lall said he did not remember having that amount and said they were from his business.

Subsequently, in a compartment near a motor, several black garbage bags with other $ 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.

Judge Marcos Lopez issued the arrest warrant Lall, as stated in the federal electronic file. Man faces charges of falsely filling federal reports and smuggling more than $ 600,000.

He has been flying since 1994 and holds a PIC ( Pilot-In-Command) type rating approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He has worked for Pan American airlines as an engineer for five (5) year until they closed their operation in 1991 and for the past 15 years he has been freelancing with Ringwood Airport in New Jersey as a flight instructor.

In 1992, Mr. Lall started his own business “K.L.X Logistics Inc” located at 13 Edward Hart Drive, Jersey City which offered trucking and warehouse services, and was operational from 1995 to 2010.

In 2007, he purchased a gas station now known as the Kaylee’ Service Station located at Coverden, East Bank Demerara as part of his investment plans in Guyana and later expanded his venture when he introduced Quin’s Special Events & Services compose of two limousines.

In pursuit of his dreams, Mr. Lall acquired a Westwind 1 Aircraft, which is a light executive jet that will be operating an international private service from Guyana to the North America, South America and the Caribbean.   This service is the first of its kind in Guyana and Mr. Lall has many more plans that will surely boost the aviation and tourism sector in our economy.