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High Court orders forfeiture of Euros 24,000 in paint to the State

Attorney General Anil Nandlall said High Court Judge, Joann Barlow has ordered the confiscation of €24,530 that were earlier this year found in cans of paint shortly after entering Guyana from Suriname through the backtrack.

“The Court eventually found that based on the manner of  concealment of the monies in paint cans, it could be inferred that the monies  came from unspecified criminal conduct. Further, Mr. Bagot failed to  provide information disclosing the source of the said concealed sum,” the Attorney General’s Chambers said.

Mr. Nandlall said the money, which was found in the possession of Guyanese Michael Bagot on March 12, 2020, was forfeited to the State, based on legal proceedings by the Police Commissioner, through the Attorney General’s Chambers, for the civil forfeiture of the money.

The Attorney General noted that the Springlands- Berbice  crossing is not the official designated immigration point of entry between  Guyana and Suriname.   He said Mr. Bagot was arrested by Police for failure to present himself to the  Immigration Authorities and failure to declare foreign currency over the  prescribed limit set out by the Foreign Exchange (Miscellaneous  Provisions) Act, Chapter 86:01, Laws of Guyana.

“In  addition, the Court noted that Mr. Bagot, had on previous occasions, exited  the jurisdiction from the designated Immigration point however, when he  re-entered Guyana, it was through the ‘backtrack’ route,” Mr. Nandlall added,

Subsequent to his arrest, the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU)  of the Guyana Police Force approached the Supreme Court for an interim order to detain the cash in accordance with section 37 (2) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the  Financing of Terrorism Act Chapter 10: 11, Laws of Guyana.

Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire granted the  detention order for the Police to lawfully detain the currency on the  17th March, 2020, and the Order was further extended on the 12th  June, 2020 for three months pending the hearing and determination  of the Fixed Date Application, the Attorney General noted.