A businessman, who is being investigated by Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) for money laundering, was moments ago charged for attempting to export $7.3 M in raw gold through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
Forty-four-year-old Vibert Marks of 95 Independence Street, La Grange, West Bank Demerara, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Courts.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge which stated that on November 18, 2019, he was found at CJIA in possession of raw gold weighing 974.13 grams valuing $7.3M without an export license.
Marks was represented by Attorney-at-law Glenn Hanoman who asked that his client be released on reasonable bail.
However, Police Prosecutor, Gordon Mansfield objected to bail being granted to the defendant on the grounds that the defendant is currently being investigated for money laundering.
He added that the defendant will be charged tomorrow for corrupt transactions arising from the incident at the airport.
Facts presented by the prosecutor stated that on the day in question, the defendant, who is a permanent resident of the United States of America, was an ongoing passenger at CJIA destined for the USA.
The court heard that while a Custom Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) Rank was checking the defendant’s suitcase, a darkish object was seen.
The rank then questioned the defendant and he stated that he was only carrying 20 ounces of raw gold in his suitcase.
Further checks revealed that it was more than 20 ounces. The defendant then attempted to bribe the rank who reported the incident instead.
Investigations were carried out which lead to the present charge.
The Magistrate released Marks on $200,000 bail. He was instructed to make his next court appearance on November 26.
The condition of the bail is that he reports every day at the SOCU Headquarters until the hearing and determination of the trial.