From the Courts
December 29, 2015
High Court issues first Confiscation Order in SVG

“It was a good day for law enforcement and the rule of law.”

This statement was made by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Colin Williams at the High Court in Kingstown last Tuesday after High Court judge Kathy Ann Latchoo made the first Confiscation Order here, under the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering (Prevention) Act, Chapter 181 of the Laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,{{more}} Revised Edition 2009.

Justice Latchoo sentenced Khamal Tito DeRoche, also known as ‘Travey’, of Sion Hill, for the offence of possession with intent to supply 4,299 grammes of cocaine. She found that DeRoche had benefited from drug trafficking in the sum of $686,118.63 over the six-year period prior to his arrest on November 12 2012.

She, however, ruled that his realizable assets amounted to $109,459.34, consisting mainly of rental vehicles and accounts at a bank and credit unions. The Crown will be at liberty to apply for further sums, if in the future he acquires new assets. DeRoche was ordered to pay the $109,459.34 to the Registrar of the High Court by March 30, 2016, or serve seven years imprisonment in default. That sum, once paid, will be transferred to the Confiscated Assets Fund.

On the substantive charge of possession with intent to supply, he was sentenced to three years imprisonment, with the time of 11 months spent on remand to be deducted.

DeRoche was convicted at the Serious Offences Court in January 2015, following a full trial. He was intercepted by members of the Narcotics Unit of the Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force at Sion Hill Bay, shortly after 6 p.m.

The Prosecution had a crucial witness to the case, who was a young man from Frenches, who was in the trunk of the vehicle and confessed to being paid by DeRoche to retrieve the drugs from a vessel. Upon DeRoche’s conviction, the Director of Public Prosecutions requested that the matter be sent on to the High Court for confiscation to be considered.

Based on the Prosecution Statement prepared by Corporal Pedro Harry of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), it was known that DeRoche accumulated assets over the relevant period without any corresponding legitimate source of income.

During his compliments to both the Narcotics Unit and the FIU on a job well done, the DPP noted that he expects to see an increase in the number of confiscations, as one of the most important weapons against acquisitive crimes and criminality is to take away the ill-gotten gains of the perpetrators.