St. Kitts and Nevis’ foreign minister chides opposition leader Douglas over reported breach at Gatwick Airport in London
Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 13, 2019 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, Hon. Mark Brantley, has chided Leader of the Opposition and Former Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis of 20 years, The Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, for a reported breach at Gatwick Airport in London, England, that has been making its rounds in the mainstream and social media nationally, regionally and internationally.
In his presentation in the National Assembly during the Budget Debate on December 13, Minister Brantley addressed the embarrassing incident with respect to Dr. Douglas.
“Well, you must be a millionaire if you’re apprehended with so much money in your briefcase. We will get to it you know because as Minister of Foreign Affairs I have to be concerned about what happens at foreign. Now what happens up foreign has an implication and impact on us—these are not just stories—we’ll get there,” said Minister Brantley.
Minister Brantley said that information had come to him as Minister of Foreign Affairs that a passenger travelling outbound from Gatwick to Dubai on Emirates EK 010 was detained with a large amount of cash. The Foreign Minister also stated that he was informed that the passenger did not declare the cash except for what he said was “less than 20,000 in his jacket pocket while his travel companion had 3,000.”
Minister Brantley further specified that in total the passenger had 78,000 US in cash, 9,000 pounds in cash and 2000 EC in cash. He said the cash was seized under the Provision of Crimes Act, 2002, and that there were three reasons given for seizing the cash—One, the cash was not declared upon entry into the UK and the amount of cash is not less than the prescribed sum as set out under the provisions of the UK Proceeds of Crime Act; Two, False declaration was made to Border Force officers regarding the true amount of cash in his possession; and Three, there were no supporting documents to show for the origin and intended use of the cash.
The Foreign Minister said it was a serious matter and an embarrassment to St. Kitts and Nevis as the Government had received official communication on the incident.
The Mail Online, a UK newspaper, in an article titled “Ex-prime minister of Saint Kitts is held at Gatwick Airport after he tried to leave Britain with 70,000 pounds in cash” and authored by Harry Cole, Deputy Political Editor for The Mail on Sunday of 8th December, 2019, wrote that Denzil Douglas was detained at the airport by UK Border Force on November 16, 2019.
The Mail Online stated that “Officers seized the equivalent of more than 70, 000 pounds—in sterling, US dollars and Eastern Caribbean dollars—from him on November 16 when he could not explain why he was attempting to leave the country with the cash.”
The newspaper article further detailed that a law enforcement source said, “He told them it was for political campaigning but could not explain where it came from and where it was really going.” Additionally, the article reported that “officers were granted the right to hold the cash for a further six months by Crawley Magistrates Court on November 19.
Douglas boarded a flight for Dubai empty-handed, the article said.
Anti-money laundering rules state anyone leaving the UK to travel to a non-EU country must declare any sum above 10, 000 Euros.