Fountain (L) and Williams (R) were found with $52,000 in Road Town.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Two friends were yesterday, February 11, taken before Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo, charged with the possession of the proceeds of criminal conduct.
Cornelius Fountain, a Dominican fisherman, who resides in Antigua and Barbuda, and Deverson Curtis Williams, an Audio Engineer of St. Vincent, were slapped with a charge which stated that on February 6, in Road Town, they were found to be in possession of $52,000, which wholly or in part, directly or indirectly, represent the proceeds of criminal conduct.
Fountain pleaded guilty, while 35 year-old Williams, a visitor to the BVI, reserved his plea.
The court heard that on the day in question, acting on information received, members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force’s (RVIPF) Armed Response Unit intercepted a red Suzuki Grand Vitara, which was occupied by the two men.
A search revealed the money in a red computer bag, behind the driver’s seat, and while they both denied knowledge of the money, Fountain admitted the bag belonged to him.
After they were taken to the Police Station, during an interview, Fountain admitted ownership of the cash, but refused to tell the police how he acquired it, or why he had it in his possession.
He also told officers that Williams is a “good friend” who came to the BVI in late January to visit him.
Williams maintained his lack of knowledge about the money.
In court yesterday, Attorney Steven Daniels—who is representing Fountain—said he had instructed his client to remain silent about the source of the money, as it was acquired through “gambling at the horse track,” and he did not want another charge placed against his client.
Attorney Reynella Rawlins is representing Williams—a father of two—and made a successful application for bail.
She argued that he had two persons willing to sign as sureties, and has ties to the BVI in the form of a girlfriend.
He has been granted $80,000 bail with a $10,000 cash component and two sureties.
Concerned that the man may not return, the Magistrate warned those signing as his surety that should he opt to abscond, “no surety will tell me they can’t come up with the money.”
Fountain, who was remanded, and Williams will return to court on Monday, February 18.