A convicted drug trafficker from Sion hill has become the first person to be imprisoned here for failure to pay a confiscation order made by the Court under the Proceeds of Crime and Money laundering (Prevention) Act, CAP 181 of the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Revised Edition 2009.
On March 24, 2017, High Court judge, Kathy Ann Latchoo, ruled that Khamal Tito DeRoche, also known as “Travey”, of Sion Hill, must return to prison to serve a seven year default sentence for not paying in the sums the court ordered confiscated.
A release from the Office of the Director of public Prosecutions (DPP) stated that ‘back in December 2015, Justice Latchoo found that DeRoche benefitted from drug trafficking in the amount of $686,118.63 and the Judge ordered that he pays the realizable sum of $109,454.34 to the Registrar of the High Court by March 30, 2016.”
She indicated that a failure to honour the Confiscation Order would result in a default sentence of seven years imprisonment. That default term would commence after the principal period for which he was sentenced.
According to the release, DeRoche made a single payment of $2,600 by the March 30, 2016 deadline.
He was released from her Majesty’s prison in January this year, having served a three year term for possession with intent to supply 4,299 grams of cocaine. The Crown then sought to have the default sentence imposed.
Prior to this, the Crown applied to the Court in August last year and secured the appointment of Mr. Brian Glasgow of KPMG as an enforcement receiver to collect the sum ordered to be confiscated.
Justice Latchoo in activating the default sentence on March 24, 2017, noted that at present, a total amount of $47, 972.11 was paid in by DeRoche, with a balance of $64, 971.77 outstanding, inclusive of interest –which accumulates daily-on the unpaid sum.
Counsel, Mr. Grant Connell and Mrs. Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, both made unsuccessful applications on DeRoche’s behalf to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in April 2016 and March 2017 respectively for a stay of execution of the confiscation order.
Director of Public prosecutions, Mr. Colin Williams, noted that the affirmation of the default sentence was another successful event for law enforcement and the rule of law in recent times, coming just one week after the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) co-hosted with the regional Security System-Asset Recovery Unit (RSS-ARU) a regional anti-money laundering workshop and days after the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee staged a national seminar.
Director of the FIU, Ms. Carla James, said that this case demonstrates yet again that crime does not pay. She reiterated the work of the FIU in implementing the Proceeds of Crime legislation which takes profit out of crime by dispossessing offenders of their ill-gotten gains.