BVI News

Visitors held with $52K, attorney said cash acquired through gambling

Two visitors who were allegedly caught travelling on Tortola with $52,000 cash — which is said to be amassed through gambling — has been brought before the Magistrate’s Court.

Charged with possession of proceeds of criminal conduct are 33-year-old Dominica native Cornelius Fontaine and 35-year-old Vincentian Deverson Williams.

Fontaine, a fisherman who resides in Antigua, pleaded guilty when he appeared before Magistrate Ayana DaBreo on Monday. However, his co-accused Williams did not enter a plea.

Allegations

It is alleged that 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 red Suzuki Grand Vitara. Both accused were said to be travelling in the vehicle.

A search of the vehicle uncovered a red computer bag containing the aforementioned cash which was reportedly stashed behind the driver’s seat.

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

They were 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.

When interviewed, Williams said the cash did not belong to him, and he had no prior knowledge of the monies. In court, Fontaine’s attorney Stephen Daniels told the court that the funds were proceeds of his client’s gambling at the race track.

Bail

Fontaine was denied bail pending his sentencing.

His co-accused Williams, in the meantime, was awarded $80,000 bail. Magistrate Baptiste Dabreo ordered that $10,000 that amount be paid in cash while the remaining $70,000 was to be signed with two sureties.

As part of his bail conditions, he is to report to the Road Town Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 6 am and 6pm.  He was also ordered to submit his travel documents to local authorities.

Attorney Reynella Rawlins represents Williams.

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25 Comments

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  1. ? says:

    If they are vistors and the vicentian claim that he dont know anything about the money why not sent hime home

    • crazy says:

      why you all people just like to say send people “home”? Hold on!! Seriously, BVI people don’t abode anywhere else in the world and don’t get involve in anything that is considered illegal? you all are angels? the thing is we don’t read about it or know about it. It is as if only the people that get in trouble are from different territories. I guess no inmate at the prison is from the BVI. Yeah right! Everything is send them home send them home. Yea send them home for having money but keep the local murderers and thieves there…shocks man!

      Like 8
      Dislike 2
      • Reality says:

        Really and truly, BVI is not the only place that deports. Don’t act like you don’t know this. Maybe its an ease on the Government purse if you have less people to feed. Also, don’t you think that they would prefer to be at home than to be locked up abroad? ijs.

      • Oh Well says:

        “BVI People” get sent home from the US all the time. I certainly would rather be free and at home than in a Penitentiary in a foreign place.

        If it was proceeds of gambling they would not have been jailed. People gamble all the time. If I buy Puerto Rico Lottery and win and it is found in my vehicle, am I going to jail?

  2. Joel says:

    Shame on u daniels…
    Gambling come on dread

    Like 4
    Dislike 3
  3. Wes says:

    is this what goes on at the race track? wow! Who would have thought?

    Like 10
  4. lord nelson says:

    “teacher percy say if you tell a lie you’re going to h**l as soon as yo die”

  5. Interesting says:

    Why is having money a crime. No drugs or guns were found, they were not leaving or arriving into the territory. If the $52K was on a bank card instead of in his jeep, would it still have been a crime? What is the threshold between being having found with legal money on your person and being found with criminal money on your person? if they were stopped with $1K would they have still been charged? Who makes the call as to what amount is legit to carry around and what amount is criminal?

    As for the attorney, why concede that the money was gained from gambling knowing fully well gambling is illegal. why not challenge the court to prove the money is illegal and if so by what means.

    Like 36
    Dislike 1
  6. Zen says:

    Um what?
    $80,000 bail. Cmon judge, have you lost your mind? This case does not warrant a bail set at that amount.

    Sounds like America is not the only ones who need to take criminal justice reform seriously and make effective change.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  7. focus says:

    THIS IS PURE NONSENSE

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  8. Misinformed says:

    Maybe I’m missing something for this article… while gambling, prostitution, and sale of lottery tickets are illegal in the territory the laws pertaining to them are not enforced. Houses of Ill repute are common across the BVI and gambling and sale of lottery tickets happens in broad day light.

    Like 11
  9. Anonymous says:

    Guns and drugs, but cannot be proven.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  10. Smarts says:

    Clearly folks there were montitered by the law enforcement, police was just trying to take cash and let the drug mules do their buisness while getting information of persons involved and then seizing the profits from these guys while they lost their eyes on all that cocaine. It’s a shame these investigator and police after all this time choose to handle the situation like this, but however the local person/s involved havent been arrested, so another day hopefully they catch more cash than drugs as the government clearly needs money

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yes I SAY – Send them Back to Their home and commit those kind of crime over there. Why come to the BVI to DO their dirt. BVI have enough responsibility to deal with on our SHORES and when you are given an opportunity to be in the BVI show that you appreciate and be a MODEL CITIZEN during your STAY.

    SO YES – SEND THEM BACK TO THEIR COUNTRY – Show some Back bone so others can SEE that you MEAN what you say – Then other won’t and know BVI is REAL in WHAT WE STAND FOR. GROGRESS IS OUR GAME/GAIN AND NOT SHAME TO GAIN.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
    • HMMM says:

      Just SHUT UP so called Anonymous. You are a d**n fool. What was the CRIME that was committed? I bet tomorrow the same money the police found gonna be less once the cops get their hands on it later. Anyway, Tortola is full of criminal activity and you getting on like the expatriates are the ones committing them. Go in the prisons musson and see how much bvislanders up there, not only too for possession of criminal proceeds but rather murders, theft, burglary, attempted murder, drugs and the list go on. After the hurricane in 2017, why were you all enlisting people from overseas to come in to restore? why you all didn’t encourage people to stay in their home THEN. MAN shut the h**l up!

  12. ms says:

    NO MATTER WHAT ACT ON POLICY – THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR CAN BE STOPPED – YES SEND THEM BACK TO THEIR COUNTRTY IMMEDIATELY – THEY SHOULD NOT PASS GO – JUST STRAIGHT TO THE PLANE OR BOAT – BUT SEND THEM HOME TO BREAK THEIR COUNTRY’S LAWS – BACK HOME THEY MIGHT THEM REMEMBER THEY HAD A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO ENDJOY PARADISE OUT SIDE OF THEIR HOME LAND. THIS WILL MAKE THEM OR ANYONE ELSE WILL THINK FIRST BEFORE ACTING IN CRIME AGAINST THE BVI.
    Y E S – Y E S – SEND THEM H O M E – B A C K T O T H E I R B A C K Y A R D.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  13. mmario says:

    To interesting. The burden of proof is on the defendant side, meaning that the defendant is the one that has to prove to the court that the money is of a legitimate source. the court doesn’t have to prove anything. As to the amount anyone can carry, i am not sure. The only thing i see wrong is that the cops stopped them based on a tip from someone. I don’t think that the cops should be in the business of stopping people just b/c. Let say that the $$$ they were carrying was from legitimate transaction then what would be the cops story for stopping them? I am sorry for stopping you please go on your way? I don’t think so.

  14. de silent one says:

    Just an observation. Why is it that D——–n girl friend seems to always associated or in company of these type of incidents with the stash of large sum of monies. Thing to talk!

  15. Shhhhh says:

    This is crazy I wonder if is someone for anyone of you
    This happens to y’all would still be puffing at the mouth remember is innocent till proven guilty tortola was built on drug money and down islands labor.

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