Broker charged in gold smuggling case

| 09/09/2019
Cayman News Service
Gold found at Heathrow Airport (Photo courtesy NCA)

(CNS): Kody Zander, the VP of the Cayman-based precious metals broker, Byzantium, which processed $6 million worth of gold that is believed to be the proceeds of criminal activity in Venezuela, has become the fifth person to be charged in a case which was busted here by the authorities in May. Zander is expected in court on Tuesday to answer related charges. Meanwhile, four other men all pleaded not guilty on Friday to the charges against them in the international smuggling case.

Pedro Jose Benavides Natera, Juan Carlos Gonzales Infante, Daniel Alberto Aguila Ferriozi and Francisco Antonio Di Ventura Herrera all denied money laundering and concealing criminal property.

A trial date has been set for November.

According to the prosecutions case, Zander met with Feriozzi (25) and Herrera when they arrived in Cayman on two occasions. His company then processed the $6 million worth of gold which the crown contends was being smuggled by the two men and was bound for Switzerland via London, where the gold was seized by the UK authorities.

It was the discrepancies between the paperwork held by Zander and Byzantyum about the origins, movement and trading of the gold compared with the declarations made to customs by Feriozzi (25) and Herrera which led to the men’s arrest and subsequent charge.

British law enforcement officials and prosecutors here believe the gold, along with money found stashed in the floor panels of the private plane used to move the loot, comes from the drug trade.

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