The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the police force in Dominica is investigating the seizure of close to $800,000 in the northen part of the island and one person has been taken into custody.
Speaking to state-owned DBS Radio, director of the FIU, McKelson Ferrol said the seizure took place on April 20 during what he described as an ‘intelligence driven operation’ between the police, the Customs and Excise Unit and the FIU.
According to him, during the operation a box containing US$320,250 was intercepted from a man from Lagon in Portsmouth but residing in Canefield.
“The subject proceeded to the custom examination counter at Portsmouth to commence the examination process of one brown box bearing a Cost-U- Less logo,” he explained. “The shipment was imported from St Maarten and was transported via sea on a cargo vessel.”
He further explained that upon opening the box, three soap boxes were observed by the custom officer.
When one of the soap boxes was opened, the custom officer identified one clear vacuum-packed sealed plastic bag containing US dollars.
“Further examination revealed an additional three clear vacuum-packed sealed plastic bag containing US currency,” Feroll stated. “A total of four vacuum- packed sealed plastic bags containing US currency were intercepted concealed in the soap powder boxes.”
He said the man was arrested after the all the packages were examined and counted and he was charged with breaches of the Customs Act.
“The custom officer conducted furhter examinations into the matter and engaged both the FIU and the Director of Public Proseuction,” Ferrol stated. “The Financial Intellegence Unit also commenced a parallel financial investigation into the matter. Having deliberated on the evidence and the circumstance surround the seizure, it was so agreed that the cash should be handed over to the FIU.”
He went on to say that the FIU has since conducted investigations and an application was fined for the forfieture of the cash pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act
“The forfeiture application has since been filed at the magistrate court,” Ferrol said, adding that investigations are ongoing.