The latest testimony inside the High Court was that a full pillowcase of money that was seized in a December 2012 police raid was considerably depleted after it was reportedly last seen in the custody of Pamphill Prevost — one of three interdicted police officers on trial concerning allegations of corruption.
That was the evidence of Officer Royston DaSilva, one of the Prosecution’s star witnesses and one of the whistleblowers who prompted the investigation into Prevost and the other two accused men.
DaSilva, who was attached to the Marine Unit of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force at the time of the incident, testified that he opened the pillowcase and saw that it was filled to the top with US currency.
He said his face was approximately two inches away from the pillowcase and was able to see coils of $100, $50, and $20 notes.
“It was one of the big pillowcases, not the normal sized ones. It was standing like a man,” he told the court on Monday, adding that the pillowcase was unsealed.
He said he had custody of the pillowcase for roughly five minutes before Prevost returned and took the pillowcase away.
The court heard that the following day, police held a debriefing in relation to the operation. When DaSilva entered the police headquarters where the cash was being held, he saw the empty pillowcase and a quantity of cash on a table.
“I saw that it was significantly less than what I saw at Elms Suite (the location where the case was seized).”
He further said that he followed Prevost outside and confronted him.
“I asked him: Where’s the money? That is not all the money”. But, Prevost did not respond, he claimed.
After that confrontation, DaSilva said he reported the matter to a number of other police officers in the days that followed.
Meanwhile, just last week, another police officer testified that he had seen Prevost leaving the precinct of the police station with an evidence bag. That is against police protocol, the court was told at the time.
The trial continues.
Background of the case
Prevost, Power, and Henry are charged in relation to incidents that allegedly happened between January 2012 to July 2014.
However, only three charges are now associated with their corruption case. The trio is collectively charged with ‘conspiracy to steal’ while Prevost and Power are jointly charged with ‘conspiracy to pervert the course of justice’.
Power stands as the only member among the trio charged with ‘acquisition, possession or use of proceeds of criminal conduct’.
Attorney Patrick Thompson represents Prevost, Queen’s Counsel Ian Wilkinson serves Henry, while attorney-at-law Israel Bruce represents Power.
On the Crown’s side, Queen’s Counsel John Black is the lead prosecutor in this case.
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