Sun | Jan 16, 2022

MoBay businessman gets leave to appeal ruling in money laundering case

Published:Wednesday | July 7, 2021 | 5:25 PM
The Appeal Court ordered that the case may proceed, but only against the Director of Public Prosecution who had laid charges and not Parish Judge Andrea Wong Small, who was trying the matter before it was halted.

Businessman Louis Smith of Montego Bay, St James has been granted leave to appeal a Full Court ruling in his multi-million-dollar money laundering case.

Last year, the Full Court denied his application for permission have the charge quashed. 

However, today, the Appeal Court ordered that the case may proceed, but only against the Director of Public Prosecution who had laid charges and not Parish Judge Andrea Wong Small, who was trying the matter before it was halted.

Smith and his co-accused, Melford Daley, Robert Dunbar and Delroy Gayle are charged in relation to allegations that they were involved in drug trafficking between 1999 and 2005. 

Smith's attorney Hugh Wildman maintained that the charge should be cancelled because it was brought under the repealed Money Laundering Act of 1998, which was replaced by the Proceeds of Crime Act in May 2007 .

In September 2019 when the trial started in the St James Parish Court before Parish Judge Wong Small, Wildman made an application for it to be discontinued on the basis that the charge was illegal as it was brought under a repealed law.  

But the application was refused and the trial continued. 

Wildman then took the matter to the Supreme Court in September 2019 for a judicial review and Justice Courtney Daye granted an order stopping the trial until a judicial review application was heard.

However, Justice Simone Wolfe Reece, who heard the matter refused the application.

It was later renewed before the Full Court and again refused. 

Wildman then sought the intervention of the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision arguing that the Full Court was wrong to have refused the application for leave to apply for judicial review to quash the charge brought by the DPP in 2013. 

On August 30, 2013, Dunbar, Gayle and Smith were arrested by detectives of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), during simultaneous raids at their homes.

MOCA detectives worked in collaboration with the Financial Investigations Division.

Subsequent investigations led to charges against Daley. 

 - Barbara Gayle

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