DUDUS MONEY TAKES FLIGHT

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Ivestigators find only a fraction of the wealth that the Tivoli don was supposed to have amassed

After digging for almost four years, local investigators have found very few assets that can be traced to convicted drug dealer Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

Despite Coke’s reputed enormous wealth and his control of what is believed to be one of the largest illegal drug operations out of Jamaica, the Financial Investigations Division (FID) has so far found only bank accounts with just over US$300,000 (J$33 million).

“He was a very smart organised crime boss in terms of how he held his assets … not directly in his name,” one senior FID investigator told The Sunday Gleaner last week.

Chief Technical Director of the FID, Justin Felice, also confirmed that the investigators had found no proof of a $30-million mansion in Plantation Heights, St Andrew, owned by Coke.

According to Felice, they have found no evidence that the convicted crime boss owned any real estate, motor vehicles, or other assets.

However, Felice said the FID is going ahead with forfeiture proceedings in the Jamaican courts to have the money in his bank accounts turned over to the State.

Felice also admitted that the investigation has been “extremely complex and challenging” in light of the fact that Coke had legitimate income through businesses that he operated.

To underscore this, principal director of the FID, Albert Stephens, pointed out that the agency was forced by the courts to return millions of dollars in assets that were in the name of Coke’s mother, who is now deceased; his girlfriend; and one of his companies, Incomparable Enterprise Limited.

Without pointing fingers, Felice lamented that the probe had been affected by the absence of timely critical information.

“If we would have been provided with better-quality information in a more timely manner, I think FID could have made more of an impact in seizing and restraining assets,” the FID boss said.

Before his arrest and extradition in 2010, Coke lived a lifestyle reflecting wealth, spending lavishly at social events, and, based on the word of residents of west Kingston, giving generously to those around him.

But the source of the wealth has never been explained nor has anyone been able to quantify just how much the former strongman was worth.

Publicly, his company, Presidential Click, staged a number of successful stage shows, parties, and adult and children’s treats.

He was also a director of Incomparable Enterprise, a company that received many lucrative government and private contracts.

It was alleged that he was the owner of at least two multimillion-dollar houses and several high-priced motor vehicles.

In the aftermath of Coke’s guilty plea and 23-year prison sentence in the United States, the Americans have indicated that they will be going after his assets to collect the US$1.5 million (J$130 million) that district judge Robert Patterson ordered him to pay over to the State.

Patterson agreed with the prosecutors that the money should be forfeited based on the criminal conduct that Coke admitted to in connection with his guilty plea.

“In connection with his guilty plea, Coke admitted to trafficking in over 3,000 kilograms of marijuana and l5 kilograms of cocaine in the United States … . Utilising even the most conservative wholesale values for those narcotics – US$200 per pound of marijuana and US$15,000 per kilogram of cocaine – the gross proceeds from the distribution of those narcotics is well in excess of US$1,500,000,” argued the prosecution.

That argument found favour with Patterson, who ruled that Coke should pay the money to the US Asset Forfeiture Unit.

Patterson also gave the American authorities a directive to go after the money wherever it was.

“… The United States Attorney’s office is authorised to conduct any discovery needed to identify, locate, or dispose of forfeitable property, including depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and the issuance of subpoena … ,” said Patterson.

While the Americans have not said if they have managed to seize any portion of the US$1.5 million, it appears that any wealth Coke amassed is well and truly hidden.

0 thoughts on “DUDUS MONEY TAKES FLIGHT

  1. Mi nah tek up fi dudus but oh lord what about the Mexican drug lord dem,, mi a wonder if d us go afta dem asset to.. Mi think the proceed shud go to the jamaican gov instead a the is.. Dem is a bully. Kmt

  2. Ok, suh the USA a tek all ah di money, what about the JA gov…what about the terror Dudus reigned on West Kingston fi years…Should some money at least go to his victims… Duppy know who fi frighten….

    1. A little before dem scrape him di jamaican government gave him 30mil so mi waa know if a really di jamaican government money di us a tek and for what? di drugs sell and gone is wha dem a collect tax from drugs?

  3. I dont think dem need fi give d Jamaican government a cent, out a dat money, and I stand firm in my belief. The Jamaican government is a criminal entity, as they aide and abetted and facilitated Dudus crime spree, they were fully aware of the inner works of Dudus operation, and had given him lucrative contracts and a license to kill and extort !!!!! The Jamaican government financed his operation and gave him the green light to do alot of illegal/criminal activities. I personally think that a few of the Politicians should be serving time with Dudus as well, as they acted for and alongside him, they are worst than Dudus by far in terms of extorting and killing off ppl in their political warfare, giving the youths gun to kill off each other. I think the Jamaican ppl who were victims of crime and extortion, whose lives were severely affected by Dudus operation, should be ones compensated for their loss, not a dime for the Jamaican government, if given to the Jamaican government, that would only be utilized to purchase luxurious vehicles and spend on lavish lifestyles. I am against that!!!

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