Gold smuggling trial beset with delays

| 02/12/2019
Cayman News Service
Gold found at Heathrow Airport (Photo courtesy NCA)

(CNS): After a week of closed door legal hearings, the trial of five men in a gold smuggling case was due to get underway this week. While the crown was scheduled to open the case Monday, illness plagued the jury, which was empaneled last month and the trial was adjourned. The complex cross-border money laundering case is expected to last until at least February, tying up five local defence lawyers and having a knock-on impact on other cases, given the shortage of criminal attorneys doing legal aid work.

The case will be presided over by the former director of public prosecutions and now a Grand Court Judge, Justice Cheryll Richards. In addition to five local defence attorneys, three QCs have been drafted in from the UK, who will also be representing the defendants.

Daniel Alberto Aguilar Ferriozi, Antonio Di Ventura Herrera, Pedro Jose Benavidez Natera, Juan Carlos Gonzales Infante and Kody Zander are all facing similar charges in relation to two shipments of gold valued at around $6 million, which was transferred through the Cayman Islands in May of this year and became part of an international investigation.

The authorities believe the gold came from the sale of drugs by a South American drug cartel.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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