Titan execs cleared of currency charge

Bahamian executives of Titan International Securities, Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach, had charges of failing to declare personal currency above the prescribed amount  to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) dismissed on Wednesday by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer.

The Senior Magistrate upheld a submission of no case to answer made by Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith last week. The Magistrate said that she considered the key element of the case to be this: “at what point (were) the defendants deemed to have committed the offence; whether they had cleared all functions of the Immigration Department and Airport Authority.”

She went to say that in her view the defendants had not cleared all procedures and Corporal Lopez, the arresting officer, acted prematurely, causing the case of the FIU represented by Christelle Wilson to fall short of satisfying all of the elements of the charge.

On September 12, 2014, Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach were at Phillip Goldson International, apparently preparing to for a chartered flight from Belize to Grand Cayman through Tropic Air, when they were intercepted by officers of the FIU, because it was believed that they were carrying considerable amounts of money.

Kelvin Leach was found with US$6,000, while Rohn Knowles had US$6,300 and BZ$11.

A police officer who picked up both men from the Philip Goldson International Airport testified that the envelope he confiscated from Leach contained US$6,300 and 11 Belize dollars and was so labelled. A check of the envelope, however, failed to turn up the Belizean currency and Senior Magistrate Frazer declined to accept the envelope as evidence, because its integrity was compromised in her view.

The detective later testified that the envelopes were mislabelled – the one he testified to actually contained the US$6,000 to have been declared by Mr Leach, and not the US$6,300 and BZ$11 to have been declared by Mr Knowles.

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