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Sep 17, 2014

Sedi Elrington Speaks On Bahamians’ Extradition Request

Bahamian nationals Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach remain on lockdown at the Belize Central Prison awaiting extradition proceedings. The US government made a formal request on Monday to have the pair stand trial in a US federal court on a string of offenses related to securities fraud.  Knowles and Leach, employees of Titan International Securities, have been named in an indictment along with four others, including Bob Bandfield and Andrew Godfrey for their purported role in laundering a billion Belize dollars through various fraudulent financial schemes. Last Friday, they were jointly arrested as they attempted to board a private aircraft en route to their home country.  While they were later charged and granted bail for the non-indictable offense of failure to declare monies exceeding the prescribed limit, they were not allowed to leave the court due to the extradition request.  This morning, News Five spoke exclusively with Attorney General Wilfred Elrington who detailed his office’s involvement in the matter.

 

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Attorney General

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“Two crown counsels from the Solicitor General’s Office, the AG’s Office, contacted me last week and informed me that the United States authorities were requesting, under the Mutual Legal Treaty, which we have with them, assistance in obtaining documentation that were housed in the Matalon Building and I think it related to a number of companies.  They satisfied me that the request was in order.  The documentation which they had prepared for my signature was in order and that I should in fact sign the request authorizing them to provide the assistance.  This is required under the treaty which we have and I had no difficulty doing that.  The extent of that request was simply to get access to the documentation because among the information which they provided was that there was at least one of the principals of the companies operating out of the building, [he] was in custody in the United States and they were suspected of being involved in securities fraud.  So I signed the request so that they could proceed to give access to the building and to the records to the authorities.  I think the authorities would have been assisted also by personnel from the United States, whom at the time I was invited to assist had not yet arrived in the country.  I think they only arrived in the country yesterday or the day before but I’m not certain about that.  Subsequent to that I had to go to San Pedro for a SICA meeting of foreign ministers and I think while I was there I was informed that the Bahamians who were scheduled to leave the country had in fact been detained at the airport by personnel from the FIU, and I think the police department, for money laundering offences.  And then subsequent to that, after I came back on Monday of this week I was informed that the United States was making a request for extradition for, I think, the two Bahamians who had been planning to leave the country but who had been detained by the FIU and I think the police.  When the request for extradition is made, once the crown counsels in the Solicitor General’s Office are satisfied that it’s a proper request and I am requested to sign that and I did that and so, as far as I am aware now the next step would be for the people at the Solicitor General’s Office, once they obtain the necessary information from the United States would then be able to proceed with that application for extradition.  I think an initial application was made to the magistrates court might have been Monday or Tuesday and the procedures will then follow in the usual course.”

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2 Responses for “Sedi Elrington Speaks On Bahamians’ Extradition Request”

  1. Timber says:

    So, in so expeditiously signing the request, jacko, you should EXPEDITIOUSLY SIGN the ones for your brother and nephew. You didn’t waste anytime with this one and we all know that request came in after they were willfully detained by police at PGIA. I’m not saying they shouldn’t get arrested, but you know that was a stall tactic. Godfrey will have a field day with you and the incompetent FIU. Sad part is that your sister Eleanor can’t even answer her phone because she’s afraid to answer any questions about your brother and nephew. You just sent her blood pressure sky high and increased the rate of her migranes. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  2. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    I hope that when the time come for him to turn over his brother to the U.S authorities he can sign that paper too.

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