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July 7, 2014
Star News


Venezuelan arrested for swallowing money case deferred
Christopher Thomas, STAR Writer


The case against a Venezuelan man, who reportedly swallowed approximately US$103,000 (J$11,446,924.57) to avoid declaring the money to customs earlier this year, has been set for mention on July 16, as the defendant has been hospitalised.

Eddie Ortega, a 40-year-old businessman from San Antonio in Venezuela, was expected to appear before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court last Friday. However, presiding magistrate Wilson Smith deferred the matter after being told that Ortega, who has been in police custody, had been taken to hospital.


It is alleged that on January 20, Ortega arrived at the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay. While he was in the line waiting to be processed, officers, acting on information, approached him and subsequently interviewed him.

Ortega was later transported to hospital, where he excreted a number of parcels, which were found to contain money amounting to US$103,000. Following this, he was arrested.

"I understand he (Ortega) is in hospital at the Cornwall Regional Hospital," clerk of the court Natalie Malcolm told RM Smith, though she did not detail the nature of Ortega's medical complaint.

"Is he admitted?" asked RM Smith.

"Yes, Your Honour. We will ask that the matter be set for mention," said Malcolm.

RM Smith subsequently set the case to be heard on July 16.

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