Published On: Tue, Dec 6th, 2016

US$2 million currency bust linked to Trinidad politicians

point-lisas2PORT OF SPAIN - Local police and customs officers investigating the discovery of US$2 million in cash found in a container at the Point Lisas port in Trinidad believe that the money sent to a local businessman as payment for a shipment of illegal drugs to the British Virgin Islands and may also be linked to local politicians.

The businessman in question is allegedly involved in extensive illicit operations in Trinidad including not only the export of drugs to the United States but also money laundering, Newsday reported.

Well-placed sources told the Sunday Newsday the man’s operation is so large that he enjoys the support of customs officers and members of the protective service and other persons, including politicians.

On Saturday, the US$2 million remained locked in a vault at the Central Bank after it was counted by a US Customs official and the serial numbers from the currency recorded. That information has been sent to the US Treasury Department to ascertain the provenance of the money.

According to a senior customs and excise source, the man’s operation was able to prosper because of his local connections and the source added that the contractor also has persons working for him in the United States. The suspect, who is based in North East Trinidad, is believed to have set up a local business as a front.

On Monday, during the local government elections in Trinidad, he is reported to have funded the transportation for at least one of the political parties.

On November 22, Trinidad police and customs officers raided a Santa Cruz business- place and seized a computer hard drive as well as other documents as part of the ongoing investigation into the US$2 million seizure.

Customs and Excise officers as well as police sources indicated on Saturday that, although false documents were used for the container to arrive in the country, they believe that an arrest is imminent.

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