Elderly man awaits punishment for exporting cash
A 62-year-old man charged with exporting large sums of money without the relevant permission will have to wait a little bit longer to know his fate.
Anthony Dacosta Harewood, of Inch Marlow, Christ Church pleaded guilty to exporting BDS$225,150 and US$12, 995 to St Vincent and the Grenadines sometime between January 29 and 30, 2009.
According to Principal Crown Counsel Anthony Blackman, the money was found in 30 packages in a box of dry goods and clothing addressed to a man in the neighbouring Caribbean island, who was “untraceable”.
The money was forfeited to the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines after it was recovered.
A probation officer told the No. 2 Supreme Court in a pre-sentencing report on Harewood, that many believed him to be a “chronic gambler” – an assessment with which he agreed. However, he told the probation officer he did not believe the habit had impacted his life negatively.
The report also revealed that Harewood had a previous theft conviction here, as well as a drug conviction in the United States.
In her plea of mitigation, Harewood’s attorney Dr Lenda Blackman, referring to sections of the Exchange Control Act and the Penal System Reform Act, argued that a custodial sentence should not be considered in Harewood’s case. Instead, she urged the court to impose a fine of $5 000 or less, pointing to her client’s ill-health, among other things.
“He is a diabetic . . . . [I urge that] the sentence of the court be a lenient one,” Dr Blackman submitted, asking the judge to also consider that Harewood had expressed remorse for his actions, cooperated fully with the police and entered a “timely guilty plea”.
In response, the prosecutor also agreed that Harewood’s health challenges should be taken into account, but urged the court to impose a fine of no less than $5 000 for what he described as a “well planned [and] well thought out scheme . . . which was successful, in that the monies left Barbados”.
Blackman said although the money did not reach the person or persons for whom it was intended, “[it] was a sophisticated scheme”.
“It is unfortunate that this man at this time of his life is before this court on this charge
. . . at 62 years old,” the prosecutor said.
“[The Crown is asking the court] to arrive at a sentence that reflects the gravity of this offence . . . and at the same time, send a strong message to anyone who is desirous of following suit,” Blackman said.
But Harewood’s attorney responded saying that her client did not have the means to pay a fine exceeding $5 000.
Following the closing arguments, Madam Justice Margaret Reifer adjourned the matter with no set date for sentencing.