Bermudian led cops to cash stash on yacht, court
The trial of a Bermudian man accused of laundering a record-breaking $1.7 million in dirty cash continued in St Vincent this week.
Winston Franklin Robinson has been in custody since his arrest in April 2008, when the money was found on the yacht
Jo-Tobin, which he and another man are alleged to have sailed into St Vincent and the Grenadines.
According to The Searchlight newspaper in St Vincent, the cash bust is the largest in the history of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
The trial of Mr Robinson, of Sandys, began last month along with two other men accused in the case; Trinidadian Kent Andrews and Antonio “Que Pasa” Gellizeau, of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
According to St Vincent's Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams, Mr Gellizeau owned the
Jo-Tobin and Mr Robinson sailed it from St Lucia to Bermuda.
Mr Robinson and Mr Andrews are later said to have sailed the yacht from Bermuda to Bequia in the Grenadines, where Mr Gellizeau was on board another of his vessels, the
Police detained the
Jo-Tobin on April 5 2008, searched the vessel, and found some money concealed close to the water tank. Mr Robinson told them there was more money to be found close to the other water compartment and roughly $1.7 million US million was recovered.
The trial was adjourned after initial hearings last month, and The Searchlight reported the testimony of three prosecution witnesses when it resumed on Monday.
Sergeant Patrick Scholar of the St Lucia Police Force explained Mr Robinson and Mr Andrews were met on board the
Jo-Tobin where police officers discovered transparent plastic bags containing United States currency.
The monies were allegedly hidden in a metallic tank covered with foam, just below the bow of the boat.
Antonio Genchi, an Italian businessman who is managing director of JT Yachting SVG Ltd, testified that Mr Gellizeau bought the
Jo-Tobin from the company, but the price was reduced from $100,000 to $85,000 because of problems encountered with the boat.
Sylma Jacobs, a secretary at JT Yachting SVG Ltd, detailed how sometime between December 2007 and January 2008, following a phone call, Mr Gellizeau showed up at her home and presented her with a little over $9,000, which she deposited into the company accounts.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Theodore Guerra, Ms Jacobs said she did not have a record of the money she allegedly received from Mr Gellizeau.
Retired surgeon Arthur Cecil Cyrus stated that he sold two acres of land to Mr Gellizeau at Brighton, Salt Pond, St Vincent, in 2001.
Mr Gellizeau is charged with concealing $1,733,463 on the
Jo-Tobin which represents the proceeds of criminal conduct.
He is also charged with bringing the money into St Vincent and the Grenadines on the yacht.
Both Mr Andrews and Mr Robinson are charged with concealing the cash on the yacht knowing or suspecting it represented another person's proceeds of criminal conduct.
They are also charged with bringing the money into St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Winston Robinson is further charged with entering St Vincent and the Grenadines without notifying the Comptroller of Customs of the intended time of arrival.
They deny the charges, and the case continues.