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Oct 17, 2022

F.I.U. Retains Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith

Godfrey Smith

We also heard from Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith. Following his first day on the case, he says that he is satisfied that the seizure of three point one million dollars was lawful, and that there are grounds for the magistrate to rule in favor of the F.I.U.’s application. Smith’s confidence is based on the argument that proof is not required to satisfy the magistrate that there are reasonable suspicions on which the application should be granted. According to Smith, these suspicions can be derived from observations made by Inspector Young during the raid, as well as the information and reports that were received by him. He contends that there is a misunderstanding of the nature of this case.


Godfrey Smith, Attorney for F.I.U.

“I think there is a misunderstanding of what the nature of this case is. This case is not proof or innocence of money laundering or any other crime. This case is simply an application to hold on to seized cash or three months, pending investigation. What is the test? What must the applicant satisfy the magistrate of, simply that there is reasonably suspicion that the cash is related to a criminal offense, it doesn’t say which criminal offense. So, if you look at section thirty eight of the act, under which the application is made, it says you must satisfy the magistrate that when you seized the cash or when you seek to detain it that it is based on a reasonable suspicion of the commission of an offense. Reasonable suspicion simply means that an officer or the team who did the seizure must have some grounds. It doesn’t have to amount to proof. So, what you would have heard was arguments and submissions about proof and evidence, when all that is required is suspicion. But the suspicion can’t be fanciful, or imaginary, or whimsical. It must be based on some factual circumstances. So you would have heard the first witness speak to some indicators of human trafficking that led him to form a reasonable suspicion that this was occurring.  I noted that in earlier public communication on this matter the Caribbean Brewery international mentioned that the reason for the stash of cash was because the banks would not allow for any deposits more than fifty thousand and obviously we would have gotten information through the F.I.U., that in fact that is not the case. As you are aware, the F.I.U. has certain powers to request banking information and so on. So, we intend as this case develop that that is a complete untruth. It is a complete lie.”

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