Bank withdraws golf tickets from Zane DeSilva on day MP charged with money laundering
A bank withdrew complimentary tickets for a golf tournament from Progressive Labour Party MP Zane DeSilva on the day he appeared in court on money-laundering charges, The Royal Gazette can reveal.
Butterfield Bank informed Mr DeSilva that free tickets for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship last Thursday would no longer be available to him because of the “court news”.
Mr DeSilva took part in a pro-am golf event last Wednesday, and it is understood he asked to change his tee-off time to fit it around his court appearance that day.
An e-mail from Butterfield to Mr DeSilva, dated October 26, which has been seen by The Royal Gazette, read: “I hope you enjoyed today’s pro-am.
“You’re a valued MasterCard customer, but in light of today’s court news, our Compliance Team has concluded we won’t be able to host you tomorrow at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
“As a result, we have had to cancel your tickets. We hope you understand and we look forward to another opportunity to engage with you in the future.
“If you have any questions please feel free to contact your relationship manager.”
It is understood Mr DeSilva originally received the complimentary tickets because he is a MasterCard holder.
Mr DeSilva, who was given his own, named, parking space at the tournament, attended the event, although not in connection with Butterfield.
Mr DeSilva, who said he met David Burt at the tournament, said he was considering cutting his ties with Butterfield Bank over the incident.
“I don’t feel good about how I was treated. I thought one was innocent until proven guilty – obviously they think differently. I’ve been a customer of theirs for 30 years,” he said.
Asked about the matter, Kevin Dallas, Butterfield group head of marketing, said: “We never comment on individual clients. We respect client confidentiality.”
Mr DeSilva appeared in Magistrates’ Court last week where he was charged with money laundering in connection with the Savvy recording studio deal.
Prosecutors claim that Mr DeSilva entered into or became concerned in an arrangement which he “knew or suspected facilitated the use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of William Anthony Blakey”.
The alleged offence took place between April and August 2018. Mr DeSilva was not required to enter a plea because the charge is indictable.
Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo deferred the matter to February’s arraignments session in the Supreme Court.
Mr Blakey, who was not in court, was charged separately with obtaining a money transfer by deception.
Cindy Clarke, the Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court that an arrest warrant for Mr Blakey, who is in the United States, had been issued and extradition proceedings had begun.
• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.