Roughly 30 WhatsApp conversations between BVI national Tambu Frett and other persons are being used as evidence to prove that April 3, 2020, was not the first time Frett smuggled a person into the territory.
To support this line of argument, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions called a UK expert in communication analysis to testify against Frett in a special court hearing held on Wednesday.
The Crown’s witness told the court the WhatsApp conversations took place between February 14 and April 3.
The court was told about conversations between Frett and Jerome Hopkins, who was identified as the owner of the dinghy that Frett used to smuggle Bryan Bolan from the USVI to the BVI on April 3.
The Crown also presented evidence about several conversations between Frett and another man referring to a “Yankee girl” and a “Spanish girl” who would be requiring Frett’s ‘service’.
“I go give she your number and let she call you. But I tell her the f****ing curfew is going to come off tomorrow so if she wanna flex, she could flex tomorrow. But she gotta make sure the money right,” the man said in one of his reported conversations with Frett about the ‘Yankee’ woman.
According to the said evidence, which was presented in a 27-page document, Frett replied: “Ok, collect the money from over here. You have to collect.”
Was there exchange of money?
While cross-examining the witness, defence attorney Leroy Jones asked the aforementioned expert witness whether there was any proof that his client took money for his services on April 3 when he was caught smuggling Bolan from the USVI.
The witness replied that “there is no reference to money”.
Jones then asked if there was any indication, based on the evidence, that his client ever received the money.
The witness responded saying the conversations between Frett and one of his suspected accomplices “clearly dictates money [and] a price”.
“There is an indication of $300 being owed,” the expert witness said.
When asked what was the purpose of $300, the witness said he could not say, at which point the Crown objected to Jones’ question.
$800 to $1,000 for an illegal ride
In the meantime, the witness said that based on police intelligence, the ‘current price’ for an illegal ride between the USVI and BVI is roughly $800 to $1,000.
During his testimony, the expert witness also pointed to the approximate $6,000 that was found on Frett the day he was caught smuggling Bolan from the USVI. He said even though there is no limit on the amount of cash a person is allowed carry while in the territory, and though there was no reference to payment in the conversations between Frett and Bolan, the monies recovered is a ‘substantial’ amount.
Frett — who had pleaded guilty to Smuggling, Illegal Entry and Breach of Curfew — is now scheduled to testify in his own defence when the special hearing resumes on May 20.
The hearing will be used to determine the extent of Frett’s role in what the Crown is calling a much bigger smuggling operation than his April 3 offence.
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