BVI News

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Traveller held at airport with nearly half-million in jewellery

Not the jewellery mentioned in the article. (Google image)

Local law enforcement agencies have held a traveller reportedly trying to traffic nearly half-million dollars worth of jewellery through the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island.

Commissioner of Customs Wade Smith said the bust happened a week ago.

He said the traveller in question was departing to St Maarten when he/she was held with items valuing in excess of $450,000.

Authorities suspect the traveller, whose identity is being withheld, had the items in their possession when they first entered the territory on July 25.

The Customs boss, however, has opted to withhold additional details about the bust.

“That matter is well under investigation,” he said.

Commissioner Smith said authorities discovered the jewellery within hours of holding an elderly visitor who was travelling with $577,830 worth of cash at the said Beef Island-based airport.

That accused man was identified as Ecuador native, Arturo Bansantes.

He pleaded not guilty to engagement in smuggling, failing to declare monies to Customs, and possession of proceeds of criminal conduct when he appeared in court this week.

Section 87 of the BVI’s Customs Management and Duty Act says persons entering or departing the territory must declare anything they carry that exceeds $10,000.

The law says failure to declare these monies or items is liable on conviction to a fine of $10,000 or three times the value of the monies not being declared.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

27 Comments

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  1. Well sah says:

    These things were looted after the hurricane they had them hide now them leaving with them

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    • Please Read says:

      “Authorities suspect the traveller, whose identity is being withheld, had the items in their possession when they first entered the territory on July 25.” Please read before posting stupidity!!

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      • Joe says:

        Amen. Become a Teacher. Lord Help Us.

        And other dummies up-voted “Well Sah’s” stupid comment.

        LOL.

        • Jessica Jones says:

          @Joe. Pick sense out of nonsense. He would of had to declare that he is travelling with valuables worth more than $10, 000. Who travels to and fro with jewelry like luggage?

      • Make no sense says:

        @please read

        Authorities statement makes no sense. So they”re saying indirectly they didn’t do their job when that person came in with the jewelry… Hmmm

  2. strupes says:

    I lost faith in him since the delta case

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  3. Maria Louisa Varlack says:

    What kind of crazy s*&t is going on in The British Virgin Islands? This is becoming more and more ridiculous. What kind of shame is being brought upon The British Virgin Islands. Where is The United Kingdom Government to stop all of this BS that is going on in British Virgin Islands? It is time to call the British Military to intervene into what is happening in The Territory of The British Virgin Islands

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dont sound silly like the rest. Crime and smuggling is an ongoing process worldwide. The traveller was en-route to their final destination. BVI was just a part of their intinary.

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    • ... says:

      MARYA LOUISA VARLAK! you are hereby banned indefinitely from posting comments. Your post epitomizes a new level of idiocracy which we fear might permeate young impressionable minds. In the absence of antidotal vaccinations, we here by quarantine you in an attempt to contain this dreadful moronic pathogen.

      Unless otherwise advised, kindly refrain from posting. Our future depends on it! Thanks

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  4. Rebuilding says:

    More money to rebuild our country. Keep bringing in money and jewelry undeclared.

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  5. citizen says:

    I blame the Premier, he just open the flood gate so who so ever will may come and now he there removing visas for all criminals and illegal business to come in.

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  6. Brad Boynes says:

    Good job.

  7. negatives says:

    once you have a good business idea go through with it. more than enough abundance in the place.

  8. Duh says:

    If they came with the jewellery and then they are leaving with it what’s the problem? Especially if this is someone on vacation. We have lots of rich people come here and they sure as hell aren’t going to want to declare their jewellery.

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    • Concerned says:

      I have never heard that you have to declare your jewellery if you are not importing it but just using it. That is a real joke. It will cost about 1 % to get an appraisal for your jewellery so do you need to spend that and then declare it when you arrive and when you depart. ROFLMAO yeah that is going to happen Lady Branson and her friends are going to travel with documentation for their Jewellery and every time they travel they go through everything to make sure they carry the correct documentation.

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      • LCS says:

        The percentage goes up according to value. Hopefully they have documentation to prove value and that is theirs.

        • Anonymous says:

          Seriously. Now the BVI requires jewelry documentation of ownership. Don’t forget the cruise ship passengers. Check all of them. Not to worry, they aren’t coming. The island is a s—hole. Garbage and rotten roads. Do you all think the cruise lines are going to put their passengers in danger? Just remember that the “belongers” are smarter than everyone else on the planet…..lmao

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          • Ungrateful says:

            You need to go back to that ‘heavenly’ place that you call home. What could the BVI possibly have to offer you? Yet your ungrateful self is still here. Hmmmm interesting!!!

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  9. Bring the Brits says:

    If Morgan Freeman or Oprah were going to their villas on Virgin Gorda are they required to declare their jewelry. Is the wife of a wealthy property owner supposed to declare the wedding ring she is wearing? What BS. Unless you have evidence that the jewelry was stolen or it was intended for sale, how is it illegal. The territory needs British police and customs.

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  10. Concern says:

    I don’t understand this charge, if it is assumed they came to the country with said Jewelry and leaving with it – what is the damn crime…strupes

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    • @Concerned says:

      The Crime is that the didn’t declare it coming in or going out of the territory.

      “Section 87 of the BVI’s Customs Management and Duty Act says persons entering or departing the territory must declare anything they carry that exceeds $10,000.
      The law says failure to declare these monies or items is liable on conviction to a fine of $10,000 or three times the value of the monies not being declared.”

      • Retired says:

        This section 87 seems to be sporadically enforced by BVI Customs. For some visitors entering the BVI by air or sea it doesn’t apply and for others it does apply – Why?

        Entering yachts, both private & charter, usually have to declare all their stores/food/provisions aboard and sometimes pay duty even though these items will only be used/consumed on the yacht. Yet the barges and ferries voyage back and forth between the USVI, PR, St. Martin, etc. without declaring any stores/food/provisions. Unless the ferry and barge crews are dining ashore most of those vessels have over %10,000 worth of stores/food/provisions aboard.

  11. Maria Louisa Varlack says:

    Time to meet with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Second about what is going on in The Territory of The British Virgin Islands.

  12. Cromwell says:

    Section 87 in question relates to cash and financial instruments of which Jewerely does not qualify. It also relates to dutiable and forbidden substances and articles, which, again, Jewerley does not qualify. Someone mentioned the Delta debacle and if one cares to read the Privy Council opinion, in the real world, all the senior Customs officers involved would have been dishonorably discharged.

  13. Hmm says:

    They welcome all those jewellery into the Bvi and get vexed when it was leaving :).
    I wish they would do the same for expats.

  14. Rubber Duck says:

    Does anyone trust the customs ?

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