So the US $2.2 million found in a container at Point Lisas in November 2016 is going to the State.
So what happened to the local contractor the money was destined for?
The contractor was questioned by the police and customs and nothing has been heard about this again.
The Customs and Excise Division disclosed in a statement on Thursday that it applied to the Magistrate’s Court for an order that the seized cash be forfeited to the State.
Couva Magistrate, Siumongal Ramsaran, granted the order after being satisfied that the conditions of the forfeiture were fulfilled in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act.
On November 6, 2016, officers of the Customs and Excise stopped a truck and trailer that was attempting to leave the Point Lisas Port containing bundles of plywood. Concealed within the plywood, the officers found and seized US $2, 216,100.
The plywood had arrived four days earlier aboard a container carrier.
In the statement, Comptroller of Customs and Excise, Glen Singh, praised the officers of the Division for their keen observation and diligence to duty in combatting the smuggling of goods into the country.
In November, a release from the Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Company (Plipdeco) stated that the cargo containing the money arrived in Trinidad aboard one of the company’s scheduled container carriers.
Using normal protocol, the customs officers and port officers referred a flat rack containing plyboard to the Point Lisas Container Examination Station (CES) for further review. At the CES, the contents were checked by customs and police officers who discovered the money.
The release said investigations by customs officers and police were continuing but Couva police said they had no report of the find.
An officer explained that the Customs and Excise Division had the authority to conduct its own investigations.