Police In Saint Lucia Seize Over EC$1M in Foreign Currency

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Police In Saint Lucia Seize Over EC$1M in Foreign Currency

Saint Lucia police’s special crime unit have seized over 1 million EC dollars in cash. They carried out two separate operations which led to the discovery of that amount and the subsequent arrest of a local and two Venezuelan nationals.

Police officers from Saint Lucia police’s special crime unit intercepted a car at the Dennery bypass. After conducting a thorough search of the vehicle, they found $395,000 US dollars stuck on the car’s interiors. This is according to the information released by the Times on 7th February 2017.

Anthony Jaye who is a Saint Lucia national and Antonio Alcantara who hails from Venezuela were arrested and charged with money laundering.

The suspects were arraigned in court on Friday last week and were to Bordelais Correctional Facility pending the hearing of their case in the coming months.

The police confirmed to the press that the two suspects are scheduled to reappear in court on 14th February for a bail hearing.

In a separate incident, police are reported to have launched another search operation at the home of Ricardo Jose Flores Montana, a Venezuelan national who resides in Rodney Heights. The search operation which was carried out on 10th February 10, 2016, seized $US 131,720 and 10,000 Euros.

Ricardo Jose Flores Montana was charged with money laundering. The police say that they have enough evidence and they will take him to court on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

In other news about currency

Mumbai police’s crime branch unit have detailed three suspects who were found with 63 lakhs of old currency notes. The detained suspects include tattoo artist, Amit Jahangir and Gaurishankar Mistry and jewellers named Rajesh Jain.

The suspects were rounded up based on the tip-off from the public. The police picked them up from Mumbai Central area during an intensive operation which involved several policemen. During a search operation, the police found 63.2 lakh of old currency notes in 1000 rupee notes.

The most interesting part of this case was the commission rate at which these three suspects were exchanging the old currency notes. After several hours of interrogation, they told the police that they were exchanging it at 1% of the total amount.

It has to be noted that after the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation policy, the country’s currency rates were high up to 60%.

"We are very shocked at the rate at which the current Indian currency rates have dropped drastically. Last year, from 8th November to 31st December, the rates were as high as 60 percent. At the moment the rate is 1%. This is due to the huge amount of new currency notes circulating in the market. It is very shocking that there is no shortage of new currency notes. In fact, the currency is in excess,” a senior crime branch officer told India Today.

According to RBI policy, old currency notes can be exchanged by NRIs till 31st March.

Meanwhile, the special crime branch unit has informed the Department of Income Tax who are also carrying out parallel investigations regarding this matter.

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