BVI News

Australian caught travelling through BVI airport with over $100K cash, court hears

Warwick James Reid being escorted by police on Tuesday.

A 64-year-old Australian who claimed he was heading to Antigua to purchase a yacht with multiple currencies totalling the equivalent of US $107,005.24 is facing criminal charges after he failed to declare the monies to local authorities.

Warwick James Reid, a retired real estate broker currently residing in Indonesia, is charged with ‘untrue declaration’ and ‘failing to declare monies’.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo on Tuesday, September 3.

Allegations

The court heard that Reid was an in-transit passenger travelling from Indonesia to Antigua.

He flew into the territory via the TB Lettsome International Airport from Puerto Rico on August 30, which was around the time the territory was bouncing back from Hurricane Dorian.

Upon his arrival, he reportedly filled out the Customs Declaration Form and allegedly denied having more than US$10,000 or its equivalent in his possession.

The court further heard that he was unable to continue on his travels the same day due to the inclement weather and had to overnight in the territory as a result. 

While attempting to leave the following day, his belongings were rejected as it passed through the territory’s security checkpoint scanner. 

A physical search of his bag was subsequently conducted. During that time, he allegedly informed customs officers that he was carrying a large quantity of cash.

The court heard that after he failed to produce the proper documentation for the cash which was said to be in several bundles, he was taken to a private room and questioned.

Prosecutors alleged that the accused then explained that he did not declare the funds because he was an in-transit passenger when he arrived at the Beef Island-based airport.

He was subsequently arrested and charged.

Multiple currencies

Prosecutors said the money which amounted to US$107,005.24 was in seven different currencies.

He allegedly had €96,700, $237,000 in Indonesian currency, $1,075 in Australian currency, $3270 in Thailand currency, $332 in Malaysian currency, $40 United Arab Emirates currency and $38 in Singapore currency.

During a cautioned interview with police, Reid reportedly said he declared the funds in every stop along his journey including in Texas in the United States. 

He, therefore, said he did not see the need to declare it in the British Virgin Islands because he was in transit.

No Bail

Despite his attorney Leroy Jones’ attempt to secure his bail, the court ruled that Reid was not a suitable candidate.

Jones argued that his client cooperated with the authorities, he is not a threat, and he had no previous conviction in the territory.

However, the Crown objected, arguing that he had no status in the territory, has no ties, no permanent place of abode, and can be a flight risk.

Magistrate DaBreo ruled that his trial will commence on Monday, September 9 and accepted the Crown’s application for the said funds to be detained for investigations.

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45 Comments

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  1. Hmmmmmmm says:

    How the heck he passed through US (Puerto Rico) waters with that? And did he fly straight from Indonesia to PR

    Like 4
    Dislike 10
  2. Anonymous says:

    Return the man money….

    Like 87
    Dislike 10
    • Can’t possibly be right..... says:

      Is it true that you can be locked up in jail for more than one week for failing to take enough care when filling out a form on entering a country that you planned to be in for less than an hour at the time of completing the form?! I find this very troubling. Especially when the consequence of such a “crime” is potentially a monetary penalty.

      • Concerned Aussie says:

        Struth mate. That can’t be fair dinkum! Can it? What’s the bloody John Dory with that? I hope they leave your Bradmans alone. What a s**t show. She’ll be right – I hope!!

      • Slab Beast says:

        Crikey. What a shemozzle. That’s all gone pear shaped. Blind Freddy could tell ya there’s nothing to see here. Lucky he hasn’t snapped the carrot. For F sake, just get on and give the bloke a fair suck of the sauce bottle. Shouldn’t be that hard. Blimey.

  3. Hmmm says:

    They just looking to take the man money. I am sure if he cleared it in the US and Texas, that can be proved.

    Like 50
    Dislike 1
  4. strupes says:

    Give the man back his money before the rest of the world take us for asses…The man traveled thru sensible securities before he got here…He should sue ayo behind after he wins his case

    Like 56
    Dislike 9
    • Strupes too says:

      So who has declared that this man is speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? If somebody comes in the Territory now amd say they got $17,000 US which was declared in Alabama, are we suppose to let every such person go without due diligence?? At least his story SHOULD be investigated. I am sick of all these peddlers passing through bout they going to purchase yachts.

      • Question says:

        Are you sick of all these bvislanders with super fast speedboats with names like c****M*I*Y**C** and O****W and such? You know. The ones with giant amounts of cash they build buildings and businesses and buy horses with and become respected members of the community? Are you good with bvislanders being in-your-face criminals from top level down to boys on the block not even looking a job because they know they good for life – and yet you all get all hung up this mans due diligence, etc etc.
        Set of hypocrite.

  5. any bets? says:

    Australia will blacklist the BVI now

    Like 20
    Dislike 5
  6. NoProblem says:

    If he declared it in passing through USA which is easily determined then why is this an issue??

    Like 45
    Dislike 2
  7. Old says:

    We must let custom do there work wrong is wrong where the money come from

    Like 15
    Dislike 15
  8. Crazy says:

    If the man is honest about declaring the funds at the other destinations then perhaps its an honest mistake. Seems like a waste of court time as all they would have to do is verify the declaration with the other authorities.

    Like 37
  9. Faithful says:

    He was in transit to his final destination. He was not planning on staying in the BVI, hence no need to declare whatever was in his possession. He didn’t have to declare nada to the authorities. Only because of the hurricane he was unable to continue on his journey to his final destination where he would have declared what he had to declare.

    Like 39
    Dislike 5
  10. Hmmm says:

    So this man will be on remand, fed at taxpayer’s expense for something that can be easily verified and send him on his way?

    Like 29
  11. Home Boy says:

    He didn’t declared it here, that’s the issue at hand. Where he declared it before arriving here has nothing to do with it. He should have declared it to avoid loosing it now, after reaching so far.

    Like 6
    Dislike 23
    • IncredibleBlindness says:

      He. Was. In. Transit.
      So he didn’t have to declare his money.
      Then an act of God cancelled his planned exit.
      Deliberately ignoring the key point makes you/us wilfully nasty.
      Leave the man and he money alone.

  12. Home Boy says:

    Hmmm, that’s the way you saw it?

  13. Texas says:

    If he was cleared in Texas, then he was fine. In the US you are allowed to clear $10.000. and you have to have a declaration form. Anything over $10.000,they will seize the over amount. He was cleared in Texas,he is fine.

    Like 16
    Dislike 2
  14. badmind says:

    given the man back him money. gov thief all the now u all want the man own

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
  15. Hmmm says:

    Crown gone with that. Watch you see.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  16. RADIKALlion says:

    govrmnts are d biggest theives in history

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  17. Joseph eayne says:

    He knew he wasn’t supposed to be carrying that amount of cash,so he lied and he he has to pay.

    Like 4
    Dislike 12
    • Come on... says:

      Notice the man had no US currency which is our local currency, so technically he did not have over or near $10,000 US dollars.

      Like 12
      Dislike 1
  18. Loco says:

    Poor representation. Very very poor advocacy.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  19. thoughtfull sailor says:

    Surely, you don’t declare this when in transit? That’s the status he expected and planned on. He didn’t spend the money here. What does it have to do with the BVI? And, by the way, it is not illegal to carry large sums.

    Like 22
  20. Anonymous says:

    Don’t see why all the fuss, this guy never expected nor planned to stop in the BVI.once it can be proven that he declared his money at the start of his journey then let him go on his way and stop making a mountain out of a mold hill.

    Like 20
  21. Ting to talk says:

    I feel for this poor old man. I am wondering how he managed to choose the d*****t lawyer in the VI.Did someone advise him or is pro bono? This lawyer came to r** his m***h to we at the prison. I will serve my time dude.

  22. fair go says:

    I understand that when he missed his flight out of Tortola (arrival delayed due to hurricane) he slept at the airport so that he “remained in transit”. He intended to catch the first flight out the next morning. Instead he’s been locked up in prison for more than a week and having to attend Court and pay large legal bills. How does any of this make sense? – surely Customs could have simply sorted this out??

    Like 25
  23. Unhappy worker says:

    Tola customs to darn JEPS always sticking their noses in the wrong biz like dem old dirty K-9es set a thieves up deh if a open me mouth on dat Mr.Up there de whole place a go be in shock

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  24. Crypto says:

    And this is why crypto currencies will end up being the default.

  25. GWEN says:

    The issue, is, why did he lie in the first place, why wasn’t he honest in declaring the money?
    This is the age of modern technology. Wake up people, before you get left behind in your ignorance and archaic thinking.

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