Court Dismiss Appeal In $67K Forfeiture Case

December 20, 2020

The court has dismissed an appeal from Nicai Lambert against an Order of Forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime Act, with the Court saying “the appeal is dismissed on all grounds of appeal.”

In describing the background to the case — which saw some $67,000 confiscated by the authorities — the ruling said, “On Thursday 16 January 2016 Mr. Lambert attended the LF Wade International Airport to travel to the Dominican Republic via New York.

“Having completed the initial check-in process, Mr. Lambert proceeded to the US Customs and Border Protection area where he was questioned about his US Declaration form. The Appellant had falsely declared on the form that he did not have an excess of $10,000.00 in cash in his possession.

“In actual fact, Mr. Lambert had a total cash sum of $67,793.00 [“the $67K”] on his person which was later seized pursuant to section 50 of the 1997 Act.

“There is no contention arising from the Senior Magistrate’s finding that: [i] the sum of US$6,193.00 was discovered in a bank pouch in a small suitcase; [ii] the sum of US$20,000.00 was discovered hidden in the foam padding of an “Invicta” make black coloured case which was in a larger suitcase; [iii] the sum of US$1,600.00 was in the Respondent’s trouser pockets; and [iv] the sum of US$40,000.00 was wrapped in 2 packages hidden in the Respondent’s front waistband.

“On 17 June 2016, Mr. Lambert was interviewed under caution by police. In addressing the origins of the cash found in his possession he explained that he had been earning an approximate sum of $400.00 per day as income from driving his taxi car.

“He professed the $67K to be a year’s worth of savings out of these earnings from taxi driving. While Mr. Lambert did not offer much explanation as to why he concealed such a substantial portion of cash from US Customs, he did tell the police that he prefers to keep his earnings in cash because of his general distrust of banks and that he wanted to avoid having to pay a 40% tax levy on the $67K he was travelling with. Neither party contended that such a tax would have been payable.”

The Judgement follows below [PDF here]:

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