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April 22, 2014
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Men held with US$500k walk free
Bjorn Burke, Staff Reporter

Two Surinamese men accused of criminally possessing several different types of currency, including more than half a million US dollars, walked free after they appeared before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court recently.

Gene Roshen Daniels and Reingoud Maikel Murvin are charged with possession of criminal property and conspiracy to possess of criminal property.

The Crown alleged that on April 7 at approximately 5 p.m., lawmen signalled a taxi in which the men were travelling in Half-Way Tree to stop. Subsequently, it is believed that a search of the vehicle uncovered two bags belonging to the men, containing a little over US$500,000 ($55 million), $1.3 million and 55 Surinamese dollars. It is alleged that lawmen further investigated and searched the hotel room in which the men stayed and uncovered US$3000 ($330,000) and $700. The men were subsequently arrested and charged.

The court heard that the accused men entered the island on April 3 and failed to declare any funds. It is alleged that the upon arrest, the men told officers that they had received a phone call from an unknown individual to transport the sum of cash to another person unknown to them.

Throughout much of the proceedings, Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey suggested that the charges were unjustly laid against the accused men, challenging the prosecutor who cited several sections from the Proceeds of Crime Act.

"Suspicion is not criminal property. The question is,what is criminal property? We are not persecuting matters here, we are prosecuting matters," RM Pusey said.

Subsequently, the sitting magistrate ruled that no evidence was offered against Daniels and Murvin.

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