Miner accused of forging gold declaration for duty-free concession

A miner was yesterday charged with forging and uttering a gold declaration in order to obtain a duty-free concession for a vehicle.

Leroy Vanderhyden, 30, denied the allegations that between April 12 and April 30, 2013, he forged a gold declaration purporting that he had sold raw gold to Mohammed’s Enterprise. He then later went to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment with the document and presented it to a Ministry official.

His final goal, Prosecutor Michael Grant said, was to gain a duty-free concession for an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

However, the ministry’s official suspicions arose on the declaration’s submission and contact was made with the owner of Mohammed’s Enterprise to verify the authenticity of the document.

The ministry struck gold when the business owner denied any knowledge of an issued gold declaration in Vanderhyden’s name.

Vanderhyden was told of the offence and subsequently charged with forging the document and uttering it.

During his defence proceedings, the man’s attorney Jonas Coddett requested reasonable bail for his client. Though Prosecutor Grant raised no objections, he requested that the bail be set in a substantial sum and that the defendant keep in regular contact with the police.

After listening to the prosecutor’s submissions, Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry set bail at $200,000, split evenly between the two charges. Vanderhyden was also ordered to report every Friday at 5 PM to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Head-quarters starting from March 28.

Vanderhyden is due to make his next appearance in court on March 21.

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