Businessman slapped with failure to declare US currency, exporting without permit charges

CJIA seizure

The Better Hope businessman, whose jewellery and money were seized at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) while he was an outgoing passenger, was on Tuesday arraigned on the charge of attempting to export without being the holder of an export licence. Additionally, the businessman is facing a charge of failing to declare a large quantity of US currency.
Richard Ramjit, 36, of Lot 4 Bissoon Street, Better Hope, East Coast Demerara (ECD), appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer to the charges. To both offences, he pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution is contending that on January 19, 2016 at the CJIA, Timehri, East Bank Demerara (EBD), Ramjit had in his possession 19.1 ounces of gold valued $4.15 million without having an export licence. The second charge read that on the same day at the same location the businessman had in his possession in excess of US$10,000 without declaring same.
When the case was called on Tuesday, Police Prosecutor Deniro Jones unsuccessfully objected to bail.
The Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) laid the charges against Ramjit whose jewellery was seized in relation to a money laundering investigation.
Ramjit has since told the SOCU officers that the jewellery that was in his possession – a gold chain and a wristband – had been worn by him on many occasions when travelling to the USA.
Attorney Anil Nandlall, who is representing the defendant, has since voiced his dissatisfaction at the charges calling them ‘absurd’.
“I maintain most resolutely that SOCU officers continue to abuse their powers and misuse the law in order to attempt to justify their illegal actions of seizing the jewellery in the first place. It is obvious that this gentleman was not exporting gold jewellery he had on his person, so they are stretching the law to a state of absurdity in order to justify their actions,” Nandlall stated.
The businessman has since been placed on $100,000 bail and the case will continue on April 25.
Meanwhile, Ramjit has since filed a $10 million lawsuit against the SOCU after being detained at the CJIA. That case was first called in the High Court on March 17.