Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

Duo caught with nearly $1M hauled before court

-DR man granted bail, USVI man remanded to HMP
The arrested men being taken to the Police Marine Base on June 16, 2020. Photo: Team of Reporters
Dominican Republic national and Virgin Islands resident, Alberto Campusano Valera during his arrest on June 16, 2020. The accused has been granted bail. Photo: Team of Reporters
Dominican Republic national and Virgin Islands resident, Alberto Campusano Valera during his arrest on June 16, 2020. The accused has been granted bail. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Today, Friday, June 19, 2020, the duo caught with close to $1M in cash between Jost van Dyke and Smugglers Cove, Tortola, earlier this week was hauled before the court to answer to several charges.

The men, Dominican Republic national and Virgin Islands resident, Alberto Campusano Valera and his co-accused Kemel Stefon Wilson from St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (US) were charged jointly with Possession of Proceeds of Criminal Conduct, Failing to declare monies to Her Majesty’s Customs, Failing to comply with an Order and Illegal Entry.

Valera was not made to plea during his first appearance, but Wilson entered not guilty pleas to all the charges.

Allegations

Prosecutor Annjel X. Flax said, on June 16, 2020, the Joint Task Force (JTF), was in the vicinity of Tobago Island when law enforcement officers saw a blue and white go-fast vessel coming from the direction of St John and heading towards Great Thatch Island.

Flax said the boat was placed under observation and officers stated they observed that the boat was heading to Jost van Dyke; however, when the occupants realised they were being pursued, they headed to Smugglers Cove, on Tortola.

The Prosecutor said, the authorities gave chase for about seven minutes, while using their sirens and ordering the boat to stop, but they failed to comply with the order.

She said, when law enforcement officials realised that the boat was not slowing down, they forced it to stop using various manoeuvres.

Cash

When the officers boarded the boat, they conducted a search and found two black duffle bags containing large sums of cash in clear, vacuum-sealed bags with a green lining.

They also found a cable in a pocket in one of the bags, and Valera allegedly said it was ‘mine,” but the cash they denied having ownership.

The men were later taken into the police boat, with their boat in tow, and were brought to the Police Marine Base where the Financial Crime Investigations Unit and Scenes of Crime Unit processed the boat and took the cash into custody in evidence bags.

When the money was counted, it was $804,306 in US currency, in various denominations.

Bail, Remand

Prosecutor Flax said she was objecting to bail for Wilson, but did not object to bail for his co-accused Valera, who was determined to have strong ties to the VI.

Senior Magistrate Tamia N. Richards said she was offering Valera $200,000 bail, $100,000 must be in cash, and the $100,000 must be signed by sureties.

Conditions of his bail include: a 6:00 am to 6:00 pm curfew, visiting the Road Town Police Station between 6:00 am to 12:00 pm every day and surrendering all his travel documents.

Valera, 37, who has lived in the Virgin Islands for more than 10 years, has work permit exemption, and is married to a Belonger, is also not allowed to visit the beaches, or even travel to one of the sister islands.

Members of the Police force will also be making random stops at his home to check on his compliance, Magistrate Richards said.

Wilson was placed on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison.

Attorney Mr E. Leroy Jones, who represents Valera, has said his client was a suitable candidate for bail and that he had seen the court grant pail to persons on guns and ammunition charges and that no such charges were against his client.

Attorney Mr Stephen R. Daniels represents Wilson, a boat captain.

The matter will continue on July 28, 2020.

15 Responses to “Duo caught with nearly $1M hauled before court”

  • Steve (19/06/2020, 18:53) Like (12) Dislike (7) Reply

    No respect! Married to a Belonger, was able to be work permit exempt, living here 10 years, and this is how he allegedly repays the BVI? He has $100,000 to put 1/2 bail and someone will give $100,000 sureties? Where is all of this money coming from, and who is this guy?????

    • just (19/06/2020, 20:47) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
      Just like you baby mind i know where this message cominh from idiot
    • one love (19/06/2020, 21:52) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
      Steve leave the people business alone what about your.
      nobody knows GOSH !! as you are so perfect I don't care now.
    • Hmm (20/06/2020, 09:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      How u mean repay is $1M not enough :)
    • Where d money (22/07/2020, 23:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      So you trying to tell me the police count $804,306! Meaning that the bag contained $1 dollar bills
  • bvi (19/06/2020, 20:05) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    @ steve. I use to wonder the same thing of where such money would come from but i was made to understand recently that some of these Spanish guys living amongst us has some serious cash. One way i understand is that because they are Spanish they communicate with people in Venezuela and Columbia and make the connection and in so doing they receive a percentage on deals they making for many of our local drug lords.look one guy for several years never been seen working a day but bought about 8 million in properties after Irma. What they are doing is buying these properties in other people's name who already have some worth. Some of these guys running bars is just for sham to hide the bigger picture.. drugs is so rampant in the western side of this island and east end to . Its a bit to much for law enforcement to handle.
  • Dear Andrew (19/06/2020, 20:55) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    When can the firearms laws to be passed so I can legally protect my family in this drug runner paradise
  • hey (19/06/2020, 23:15) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need external help to handle the drug trafficking in the bvi waters. We are one of the main transshipment point in the eastern Caribbean for drugs going to north America. This has been going on for years but it just got better. I hope the United kingdom and north America is taking a closer look. The bvi law enforcement agencies cannot and i mean cannot handle this situation. We need external support. This is something that the Governor needs to look into .please mr governor report what is taken place especially after the hurricanes in 2017. Look at the millions in drugs and cash that the law enforcement agencies sometimes manage seize. What about the amount that is getting through. A very small island but big in drugs big in sex trade big in human trafficking big in tearing other Caribbean national's apart and huge in money ××××÷×××÷×.figure it out. Is the governor sleeping??
    • Deagle (20/06/2020, 00:29) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      They can do their drugs once I got protection for my family with a licensed gun I’m ok
    • Conspiracy (20/06/2020, 10:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Could it be that govt isn’t aware of the volume of drugs, cash, and money laundering occurring in the BVI? Or could it simply be that they are complicit? Even a child can easily see all of these crimes occurring daily yet there seems to be little to no concern from government to REALLY address the issue. I suspect the guys we see picked up and charged from time to time are simply those who have fallen out of favor with the government and are used as scapegoats to make it look like some enforcement is happening. This scenario is more likely than 5g lol.
  • Steve (20/06/2020, 02:02) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    @ just and one love, haha, did I hit a corrupt nerve in your bodies? You are both part of our problems. Get some education and work honest jobs you lazy slobs!
  • island man (20/06/2020, 10:00) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Right now BVI needs all they money we can get so please go tell your friends too
  • Hmm (20/06/2020, 15:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is it possible government didn't get there share that's why it got busted hmm
    Thing to talk


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.