A Dominican flight attendant was on Monday fined EC$10,000 to be paid forthwith or spend 9 months in jail in connection with two money laundering charges.
Thirty-year-old Sherita Kernelle Newton, an employee of regional carrier LIAT, was charged with bringing criminal property into St. Vincent and the Grenadines, contrary to Section 123-1E of the Criminal Code.
She was also charged with being in possession of criminal property, contrary to Section 125-1C of the Criminal Code
She pleaded guilty to both charges when she appeared before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias at the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown.
She had not paid the fined when court was adjourned before noon, and was taken away in an unmarked police vehicle.
Last Wednesday, Nov. 19, law enforcement agents conducted a search of Newton’s apartment at Beachcomers Hotel, and questioned her in relation to monies she had in her possession, suspected to have been derived from criminal conduct.
Newton told police that she had EC$12,000, but when police counted the monies, it amounted to EC$27,000. She also had 25 euros in her possession.
Newtown told police that someone in Antigua had given her the money to take to an individual in St. Vincent and that she was paid EC$1,000 to transport the money.
She, however, did not disclose the identities of the person sending the money or the intended recipient.
Sources say that Newton had been transporting money in this way since early 2013.
She was taken into custody and the charges were brought against her after a joint investigation by the Financial Intelligence and the Narcotics Units.
The monies were forfeited to the Confiscated Assets Fund, but the court did not grant an application for confiscation of Newton’s benefit from the criminal action (namely the EC$1,000), she having been convicted of money laundering.
Newton was represented by counsel.