The Guyanese businessman and pilot Khamraj Lall, who was charged in Puerto Rico for smuggling a large sum of cash was granted bail on Monday when he appeared before US Magistrate Judge Marcos E. Lopez in a Puerto Rican courtroom.
However, as part of the granting of the bail, the businessman’s attorney requested that documents and details related to his bail be blocked and be available for selected parties only.
In the motion for bail, Lall’s Attorney wrote that “it is respectfully requested from this Hon. Court that it accept and file the Motion Notifying Character Letters and Real Estate Appraisal in Support of Granting Bail under the requested restriction level, and that an
ORDER issue directing that the document remain under such restriction level until further order by the Court.”
Lall operates several businesses in the United States and owns and operates a petrol station, limousine rental service and executive jet charter service in Guyana.
Reports state that he will be allowed to return to his New Jersey home as part of his bail package but might be prevented from travelling to Guyana.
The businessman was on his way to Guyana when he stopped in Puerto Rico to refuel and US Customs agents found US$620,000 stashed in garbage bags on his private jet. He took responsibility for the cash and said the other two persons on board, his father and another pilot, were unaware of the money.
The find came after the US agents questioned him several times about the declaration of money. When the large sum of cash was found, the businessman told the agents that he forgot he had the money on board.
In Guyana, there are calls for a full probe of the man’s operations at the Cheddi Jagan Airport where he recently built a private hangar and lounge. Just after the bust was made, reports surfaced that during his many trips to Guyana, his aircraft bypassed customs and security checks.
Other persons in the airline industry have raised serious concern about those reports and have stated that the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority ought to conduct its own probe because of the alleged security lapses that took place at the international airport.
The Government of Guyana has distanced itself from the cash moving businessman and has claimed that on the three occasions that the President used the businessman’s jet for official travel, the government covered all costs.
Filed: 1st December, 2014