Court wants partner hand scheme investigated: Money laundering case adjournedPOSTED: 04/3/14 4:27 PM
St. Maarten– Two defendants in a money laundering case saw their trial postponed yesterday because the prosecution wants further investigation into claims made by the defendants.
Jermain Deran J., 32, met Kenroy H., 38 at a party, where the latter asked him to take $8,000 in cash with him to Jamaica.
J. was supposed to give the money to H.’s sister upon arrival but he never got there because he was arrested at the airport when he was found in the possession of such a large amount of money.
Kenroy H., a construction worker who earns $1,600 a month, while his girlfriend brings in an additional $1,060, told the court that the money came from a scheme called partner hand. There are eleven people involved in this scheme, who each contribute $1,100 per month to it. Every month, one of the participants gets “the pot.”
H. told the court that the money was for the construction of a house in Jamaica.
His co-defendant Jermain J. is a Jamaican entertainer who came back to St. Maarten to attend the court hearing.
Prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp asked the court to adjourn the case to a later date to give Kenroy H. the opportunity to provide her office with the names and addresses of the people that are taking part in the partner hand scheme.
Attorney Geert Hatzmann said that an adjournment was not necessary as far as his clients are concerned. “What is a large amount of money? With $8,000 they are well below the reporting limit of 20,000 guilders. My client Jermain J. has been incorrectly labeled a suspect. Both of my clients have made consistent statements and there was no reason to detain them.
Judge Koos van de Ven said that there is still a suspicion of money laundering – given the total income of Kenroy H. and his expenditures. “You say that the source of the money is verifiable. That had to be investigated,” the judge said. “Staying below the 20,000-guilders limit does not always exclude money laundering.”
The judge gave Kenroy H. three weeks to present a list of the participants in the partner hand scheme.