Three men are now in police custody following a Customs operation that led to the discovery of a large sum of cash, which reportedly was being trafficked on a maritime vessel into the British Virgin Islands.
The men, whose names have not been released, were reportedly travelling with roughly $100,000, which is 10 times the legal amount.
Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Customs, Wade Smith said the vessel appeared to be coming from neighbouring US Virgin Islands.
He said law enforcers intercepted the vessel in the Frenchman’s Cay area between 5pm and 6pm on Monday, June 25.
He said the cash was subsequently seized. Other groups involved in the operation include officers from the Immigration Department and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).
The RVIPF’s Financial Investigations Unit is now probing the matter, Smith said. The Customs Commissioner said the captain of the vessel in question is a local.
Meanwhile, Monday’s seizure is the latest of at least two major cash discoveries the Customs department made within the last few weeks.
Just last month, a Trinidadian visitor was held trying to smuggle nearly $30,000 cash through the TB Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island.
“We would like to commend the Airports Authority, the Ports Authority, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, as well as the Immigration Department for their efforts and assisting us with the number of seizures we’ve been having in the past few months,” Commissioner Smith said after Monday’s operation.
Section 87 of the territory’s Customs Management and Duty Act says persons entering or departing the territory must declare any cash amount that exceeds $10,000.
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