When police accosted West End residents Caroline Hodge-Clarke and D’Janne Varlark in a traffic stop back 2018, they were searching for a firearm.
This is according to police Inspector Durville Carty who, at the time, was testifying at the start of the trial for the two women at the Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
The duo is charged with possession of a controlled drug and possession of proceeds of criminal conduct.
Inspector Carty told the court that police had received “more than one report that a firearm was brandished” by the accused, Hodge-Clarke. However, no firearm was ever found during the search of their rental car or their residence.
Instead, police allegedly uncovered 700 grams of cannabis and $24,980 suspected to be proceeds of crimes.
In the meantime, Officer Andy Lawrence testified that he was part of a 10-man police team that searched the residence of the two women.
He said that during the search on the northern side of the bedroom that the women shared, he found a transparent ziplock bag stashed behind the mirror.
“The bag was pinned between the mirror and the wooden brace to the back. Whenever we search, we search thoroughly,” he said.
Officer Lawrence said the bag was filled with cash in denominations of 5s, 10s, 20s, 50s and 100 dollar bills.
Their trial has been adjourned to February 27.
The court heard that police, acting on a tip, intercepted the accused women who were driving in Hannah’s Estate area of Tortola.
Hodge-Clarke was the driver while Varlack was a passenger in the vehicle, the court heard.
During the search, police uncovered the drugs in their possession totalling to 741 grams with a street value of $7,410.
One day later and armed with a search warrant, the cash was found at their Belmont home in a single bag behind a mirror in the bedroom of the house.
When questioned, Hodge-Clarke reportedly told police: “That’s my life savings.”
The court heard that Varlack added: “Officer, we worked hard for that money doing all kinds of jobs.”
Police also found another four grams of cannabis which Hodge-Clark allegedly claimed as her own.
The drugs and the money were confiscated for investigation purposes.
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