Bajan man caught with BDS$72,600 at airport
From the Courts
March 16, 2007
Bajan man caught with BDS$72,600 at airport

The long arms of the law in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are being extended and law enforcement officers are cracking down on money laundering.

Earlier this week, Barbadian Peterson O’Neal Padmore was fined $1500 after pleading guilty at the Serious Offences Court to failing to declare under the Customs Act that he had $10,000 or the equivalent in foreign exchange. The BDS$72,600 (EC$98,010.00) which Padmore had in his possession was forfeited under the Money Laundering and Prevention Act.{{more}}

On Monday the court heard that Padmore landed at the E.T Joshua Airport from Barbados on March 8, 2007. Padmore cleared immigration having completed the customs declaration form. It was said he selected “no” on the form in the area which asked if he had $10,000 or more or equivalent to declare.

A customs officer requested a search of Padmore’s black travelling bag. A pair of jeans was unfolded, and between lay bundles of cash in transparent packaging.

When questioned about the money, Padmore gave varying explanations, one being to construct a house for his girlfriend.

Under caution by officers, Padmore said, “I will tell you the truth now. The money is not my money, it was given to me by a fella named Toyan in Barbados to take to a guy named Bob on the leeward side of the island.”

Padmore said that he did not know Bob personally but he was going to meet with him later that day. He told customs officers that he only came here for the just concluded Cricket World Cup warm up matches and that he believed the money was for payment for drugs.

However, no deportation order was made against Padmore.