BVI News

Dominican gets 8 months at HMP for gambling | Over $50K forfeited to Territory

Fontaine (left) and Williams

Dominican Cornelius Fontaine was slapped with an eight-month prison sentence after he was caught with $52,000 earned through gambling.

Fontaine, a fisherman who resides in Antigua, had pleaded guilty to the offence of being in possession of proceeds of criminal conduct in a previous court appearance.

In handing down the sentence on Thursday, Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards said gambling is illegal in the territory and ordered that Fontaine’s custodial sentence begin from the first day of his incarceration at Her Majesty’s Prison.

The court said Fontaine’s no previous convictions, his cooperation with police and his early guilty plea were all considered to be ‘mitigating’ factors

On the other hand, the seriousness and prevalence of the offence were considered as aggravating factors in the matter.

The court also ordered that the $52,000 be forfeited to the territory.

Meanwhile, Fontaine’s co-accused Deverson Williams of St Vincent pleaded not guilty to the charge is currently on bail and will be tried before the court at a later date.

What the court heard happened

The court heard that the members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Armed Response Unit were on mobile patrol on February 6 when they received information which led them to intercept a Suzuki Grand Vitara.

Both men were said to be travelling in the vehicle at the time.

A search of the vehicle uncovered a red computer bag stashed behind the driver’s seat. The bag contained the aforementioned cash.

When questioned, the duo reportedly denied knowledge of the cash. Fontaine, however, said the bag which contained the money belonged to him.

They were subsequently arrested and charged.

During a subsequent police interview, Fontaine reportedly admitted to police that the cash belonged to him. However, he refused to disclose the source of the money or why it was in his possession.

His attorney Stephen Daniels later told the court that it was from gambling on horse races.

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22 Comments

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  1. L says:

    I honestly didn’t know it was a crime to walk around with a large sum of cash. I must be missing something here.

    Like 32
    Dislike 4
    • K says:

      He admitted he obtained the money from an illegal act which made it a crime

      Like 4
      Dislike 12
      • Expat says:

        Isnt there gambling at the Premire horse races isnt the a crime to. The government rob the guy plan and simple. Why u dont find the killers for the unsolved murders or the ones selling drugs.

        Like 12
        • Gambling??? says:

          Suspect that the gamble he made was that he would not get caught with the proceeds of selling d***s – he lost!

  2. ??? says:

    Why did the law took away the man’s life savings???

    Like 21
    Dislike 3
  3. Anonymous says:

    Gambling my foot!

    Like 11
    Dislike 7
  4. Anonymous says:

    I did not know that either but i guess the source is the major issue

  5. Eagle eye says:

    Certainly they didn’t travel from Antigua just to watch their horses run.just like when tolians travel to st Thomas and st Croix certainly not just to watch their horses run.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  6. Windy says:

    To L, It’s only a crime when you possess more money than what the government has. Then they take it.

    Like 14
  7. Yeh says:

    Thats a Dominican for you….. not saying that what he did was correct but he took the rap didn’t sell out.

    Obviously someone was mad about loosing their money!!!

  8. OMG!!?! says:

    Gambling is illegal in the BVI? I see law enforcement officers buying Puerto Rico Rico lottery tickets which are sold in plain sight. If its betting on the horse races the man got his money, give the man back his damn money. This is so disingenuous. They all know what the hell go on in this place. Betting on horses, lotteries, dogs, fowl cocks happen in the BVI in plain sight of the police.

    Like 34
    Dislike 3
    • Yes says:

      What sucks is that they no about the cock fights etc. (everyone knows). But they don’t do everything about that. They just choose who they want to harass.

      Like 24
      Dislike 2
  9. Yep says:

    Did they have a search warrant for the vehicle? If not it is bulls**t!!!

    Like 10
    Dislike 3
  10. deh pun 5kunt says:

    he deh pun 5k8nt! officer I dont use the bank services!

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  11. Anonymous says:

    H deh pun S, OFFICER I DONT USE THE BANK SERVICES.
    PLUS IS MY CAR & MY BAG.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  12. island man 2 says:

    what about the Syrians having betting with horsing race in the stores

    • SfS says:

      @ island man 2
      You did not mention that dem Syrians also sell lottery tickets and will cash your ticket if you win. Dem law enforcement officers know about it. This place is so corrupt.

  13. Double Standard says:

    Sale of lottery tickets and gambling are games of chance and both are illegal in the BVI. Lottery tickets are sold openly while gambling is done semi-openly. The question is, how is this defendant being charged for proceeds from an illegal activity while lottery sellers continue to be free? This activity needs to be regulated. Millions of dollars are generated from the sales and leave these shores and returned to the BVI in the form of winnings that are not taxed. Our job is to protect the global financial system in our various jurisdictions from allowing unregulated monies entering into it. Are we going to wait for the international community to pick the matter out of our eye on this one?

  14. Expat says:

    This is so wrong on all levels. This place is setting a a very bad example. Gambling is illegal here ok. I hope the August monday horse race gets a closer look to see if gambling dont take place here. And of course nothing will be done about it. Dont worry we soon pack up and leave here for you all. Than you going have to gamble to pay your mortgage on the empty apartments we leave behind. Or when your all run away the other Cruise ship company . The guy aint steal it or kill for it you give him 8 months because he play a game and won great example. Laws are broken each day by leaders of this country but them to big to touch ok one day God will show you all who cant and can be touched.everytime you read the news its an attack on caribbean ppl in this dot on the map place sick of it bunch of small minded ppl dont worry the whites will envade and we will leave you all to suffer your welcome faith. Bunch of jacka**.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  15. Say what? says:

    If gambling is illegal and finally being enforced, then almost everybody in the country should experience prison by weekend. Like Yeah, prostitution is illegal too but which w***e does get arrested?

    Police, make this your first stop. Every where you see a group playing dominoes- dem ah gamble. Lock all of them up. When you see lottery tickets being sold or anyone on possession or a ticket, lock em up. Horse race day, call in Scotland Yard and build a warehouse cause that will be lock up factory.

    Lock up your own fellow officers. Stop by the barber shop by the bandstand and a female officer always deh with big gamble a go on. Lock all ah dem up. What’s good for one must be good for all. Just let me play my bingo in peace though

  16. I from tola. 38 yrs never moved says:

    A set of telling going on here. No wonder we can’t do better. Stop bring down ppl and lift them up!! 1 man get hold for something the WHOLE world got to know where all doing what and who. Your same ppl dojng it to so call them name 1 time them. Ayo 1 sided set ppl from tola

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