The Venezuelan couple held at the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport with nearly $80,000 cash this week, confessed to the crime when they appeared before Magistrate Shawn Innocent on Thursday.
Twenty-three-year-old Anthony Kall Yanez Duarte and Elianneth Isabel Espinoza Montilla were jointly charged with possession of proceeds of criminal conduct, failing to declare monies to Customs, and concealment of the proceeds of criminal conduct.
Montilla – an unemployed mother – and Duarte, a businessman, both pleaded guilty to all three charges.
$$ came from an apartment sale
The court heard that the cash was from Duarte’s sale of an apartment in his home country.
The court also heard that they hid the money in an attempt to evade taxes. They reportedly brought the cash into the territory but were never searched when they first arrived in the BVI last week.
The court was told that the woman, Montilla, was chosen for a random luggage search while attempting to depart the territory on Tuesday.
During the search, airport authorities discovered that she had cash concealed in various articles of clothing inside her luggage.
She initially told the authorities that she was carrying $8,000. However, when the money was counted in her presence, it amounted to a little more than $24,000.
Montilla told local authorities that the cash belonged to her. But, shortly after, she said it belonged to her boyfriend, Duarte, who she voluntarily pointed out to local authorities.
Duarte’s luggage was then searched and he was found carrying $22,773.
Police were subsequently summoned and the pair was arrested.
More $$ found in couple’s underwear
While at the police station, Montilla requested to use the restroom and it was during that time she handed over a black sock containing $14,000 to a female police officer who was assisting her at the station.
The cash was bound together with rubber bands and was hidden in the crotch area of her underwear.
This discovery then led police to search Duarte and he was found with the same amount of cash concealed within three boxer shorts that he was wearing.
The total amount of cash found in their luggage and on their person was $74,841.75.
The duo, who is represented by attorney Leroy Jones, will be sentenced on October 1.
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