Sunday 15 December, 2019

Engineer held with $85 million in cash granted bail

An operations engineer at the state-run National Energy Solutions (NESOL), who is facing a litany of charges including money laundering, was on Tuesday granted bail in the sum of $800,000 when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

Lawrence Pommels, 33, was ordered to report to the police daily and must surrender his travel documents. A stop order has also been placed on him at all ports.

His attorney, Christopher Townsend, made the successful bail application after dismissing the arguments made last week by the Clerk of the Court that Pommels was a flight risk who had access to large amounts of cash. The clerk had also expressed concern about the safety of a witness in the case.

It was revealed in court last week that Pommels and 34-year-old mechanic, Ricardo Harris, were held in connection with the seizure of $85 million in cash.

Pommels and Harris were thrown into the spotlight when detectives swooped down on two houses in New Harbour Village in Old Harbour, St Catherine, and seized millions of dollars in cash and four high-end motor vehicles, including a BMW X6 and an Audi, as well as other valuables on June 7.

The two men were charged with breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act, money laundering, possession of criminal property, and bribery.

Lawrence was reportedly in charge at NESOL, which is located along Washington Boulevard in St Andrew, at the time of his arrest.

The two men were arrested after a high-level probe involving investigators from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (C-TOC) and the Financial Investigation Division (FID).

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