Afghan-American businessman fined, ordered deported

Tuesday, October 23, 2012    

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THE Afghan/American businessman who was held at the Norman Manley International Airport last month with more than Euro300,000 was on Thursday fined $10,000 for breaching the Proceeds of Crime of Act and ordered deported.

If the fine is not paid, the 41-year-old convict, Sohail Muhammad Siddiq, will have to serve 30 days in jail before his deportation.

Siddiq was also charged for breaching the Custom Act, which resulted in the court forfeiting the sum that was found in his possession.

The sentence was handed down by Magistrate Georgianna Fraser in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court following last week's admission of guilt by Siddiq.

Attorney Ramona Nelson, who mitigated on Siddiq's behalf before he was sentenced, asked the magistrate to take into consideration that her client had pleaded guilty and did not waste the court's time and that he had already spent about eight weeks in jail.

Nelson also asked the magistrate to consider the fact that her client's money, which he had borrowed, will be forfeited by the court and he will have to repay the loan even though he did benefit from it.

Siddiq was arrested on September 4 for failing to declare Euro313,500 and US$700 found in his possession.

Siddiq, who arrived in the island on a flight from Panama en route from Dubai, later told the court that he came to Jamaica to purchase cellphones.

Siddiq was also represented by attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie.



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