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Jan 10, 2012

Financial Intelligence Unit appeals case

Marilyn Williams

The case against the Coye family has been one of the most high profile Money Laundering cases in Belize. Michael and Marlene Coye, their son Jude, daughter Melonie, her husband James Gerou as well as two employees Athlee Matute and Deitrick Kingston were all charged along with the family’s business Money Exchange International Limited. The charges followed a bust of one point five million dollars in cash that was found at the Coye’s home on December thirty-first 2008. And after almost two years, they were all acquitted. But it’s not over just yet. Marilyn Williams, the Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, said this morning that the Coye case along with two others have been appealed and are still before the courts.

Marilyn Williams, Head, Financial Intelligence Unit

“The FIU has brought three money laundering cases so to speak and while we were not successful in them at the level that the cases were brought, let me just point out right now that those cases are still before the court. I think we don’t like to operate—and I’ve told you this before—we don’t like to operate out in the media but certainly we want you to know that in terms of our prosecutions, they’re still before the court. We’ve appealed—I’m sure one of the references you’re making is to the Coye, which we lost at the Supreme Court level but which a lot of people are not aware that we appealed that case and we won the appeal. So the trial will be brought back again.”

The FIU is appealing on the grounds that the trial judge erred in law when he ruled that there was no evidence to prove the element of forgery and that the cash found at the Coye residence were the proceeds of criminal activity.

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