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(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Two Surinamese women who reportedly flew to Jamaica for the Reggae Sumfest festival in Montego Bay, St James, and were caught trying to return home with 250 US$100 notes in their crotch were remanded last when they appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.
Hairdressers, 31-year-old Ingrid Asaite and 30-year-old Claudia Clydesdale were held at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on July 22, about 2:30 pm, police said.
Asaite was also reportedly found with $250 in Surinamese currency, €100 and US$14,750 in her bag and purse, while Clydesdale was also reportedly found with a further US$16,200 in her shorts and bag.
A male Surinamese national, Dellroy Sanduliet, was also held along with the women and was reportedly found with US$12,700 and 50€ in his wallet and bag,
The three were about to board a flight to Guyana when they were accosted.
They were subsequently charged with c possession of criminal property, concealment of criminal property, attempting to remove criminal property, and facilitating the retention of criminal property.
On Friday when the trio was brought before Senior Parish Judge Vaughn Smith, their attorney, Christopher Townsend, told the judge that the charges against his clients could not be substantiated.
“None of the offences can be substantiated as they are. One ingredient is needed and it is not there,” the lawyer said. “Mere possession of money irrespective of where it is found is not an offence.”
Furthermore, Townsend argued: “When you are entering Jamaica you have an obligation to declare, not when you are leaving.”
The prosecution, in the meantime, told the judge that the file was incomplete and that the Crown was awaiting a report from the Communications, Forensics Cybercrimes Unit as the accused phones were seized by police for analysis.
A mention date was then scheduled for August 8 and the accused were remanded.