Vincentian denied bail again on money laundering charge

The St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court last week Tuesday refused a second bail application by 31-year-old Vincentian national, Philson Spencer who is facing money laundering charges.

Vincentian national Philson Spencer remains on remand

Spencer was charged on March 20 and remanded to the Richmond Hill Prisons on a charge of money laundering in relation to approximately EC$40, 000.

When he was arrested, the Vincentian who is described as a fisherman by profession, resided at Non-Pariel, St. Mark, in a house belonging to his girlfriend who was at the time out of state in neighbouring St. Vincent.

Spencer was taken into custody on March 16, along with a group of men onboard a fishing vessel that was intercepted during a joint police/marine operation in the waters outside of Point Salines, St. George.

The accused appeared unrepresented by counsel when he made his first court appearance in the hearing before Chief Magistrate, Her Honour Tamara Gill at the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court.

The prosecution, led by Corporal Terrence Andall, had strongly objected to bail out of fear that the Vincentian national would abscond.

The Police Prosecutor told the court that because Spencer is a non-national who has access to a boat, there is no certainty that he will show up for his trial.

In his defense, the Vincentian tried to convince the court that he will not try to evade the law and that he currently resides on the island and has not visited St. Vincent since 2015.

The Chief Magistrate, took the decision to remand him to prison until March 28.

The female magistrate also used the opportunity to inform Spencer of his right to apply for bail at the level of the high court.

Spencer reappeared before the court last week Tuesday represented by Attorney-at-Law Sasha Courtney, who moved another bail application on his behalf.

However, the Police Prosecution, armed with additional information, objected again on the grounds that Spencer is currently in breach of a deportation order instituted in 2009.

In addition, the court was informed that the Vincentian was on July 7, 2016, convicted for possession of a controlled drug and that the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) was looking into other financial crimes that he may have been involved in.

Attorney Courtney argued that Spencer is not in breach of the deportation order and informed the court that his client had re-entered the country legally through the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).

The Chief Magistrate once again refused the bail application and ordered Spencer to return to court on Thursday (yesterday).

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