US National convicted of drug smuggling fined $1M or 6 months imprisonment

A United States national convicted of smuggling cash to Jamaica, has been fined $1 million or 6 months imprisonment.

He is 30-year-old Kenardo Coke, a security guard of New Jersey.

On April 28, the Financial Investigations Division, (FID), secured the conviction in the St. James parish court for concealment of criminal property and possession of criminal property.

It follows the seizure of US$50,400 from Mr. Coke on April 10, 2021 at the Donald Sangster International Airport.

The cash was found concealed in women’s wigs in his luggage.

Following the discovery, a joint investigation commenced with the FID’s constabulary financial unit, the JCF’s Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigations branch and the Jamaica Customs Agency.

The investigations revealed Mr. Coke’s connection to lottery scamming activities based on the alleged discovery of lottery scamming paraphernalia in his possession.

It is believed that the cash was the proceeds of that criminal activity.

In a statement on Tuesday, the FID said a court hearing for Mr. Coke is set for June 23, in respect of forfeiting the cash under section 79 of the Proceeds of Crime Act, POCA.

In commenting on the case, the FID’s principal director of investigation, Keith Darien said the agency continues to work with its partners to tackle money laundering.


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