Police ‘catch’ fisherman with bag of money

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– said he sailed from Puerto Rico to St Thomas then to Tortola to fish & to meet someone named ‘Mitchell’

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – A man appeared before Magistrate Ayana Baptiste-DaBreo on December 3, 2015 after he was caught on September 7, 2015 with what police believes to be the proceeds of a criminal activity.
According to the facts put forward by the Prosecution, Felix Rafael Colon sailed from the United States territory of Puerto Rico to the island of St Thomas in the USVI then onwards to Tortola where he was intercepted with a stash of over $359,000 cash.

Speaking through an interpreter, the man pleaded not guilty to the charge of acquisition, possession or use of proceeds of criminal conduct.

According to the complaint before the court, the man was picked up in the area of Towers, West End, Tortola.

Prosecuting for the Crown was Garcia Kirt Kelly who told the court that on September 7, 2015 members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force were on patrol duties aboard the MV Ursula in the vicinity of Towers West End, Tortola.

He said that while on patrol they observed a white 23 foot angler vessel with a lone occupant with fishing gear.

The occupant anchored the vessel and Police approached him. He was accosted by the police and they were told that he sailed down from Puerto Rico via St Thomas, USVI and came to the Virgin Islands to fish.

According to the complaint, the man said that he did not have a fishing licence but that he came to fish and meet a person named ‘Mitchell’. Further, he failed to present himself to immigration and customs officers upon his arrival in the territory.

Police requested a search and during the search of the vessel a black bag was allegedly found in the stern. The bag was retrieved, placed on the deck and opened in the presence of the defendant.

According to the complaint before the court, a large quantity of cash was discovered wrapped in plastic. The cash was seized by the police and the man taken into custody.

At the first count while some of the notes were wet, the total counted was rounded off to $308,040. However when counted dry the total was $359,950.

The man is to return to court on January 19, 2016. Source Virgin Islands News Online