Pastor Vinworth Dayal

A pastor from south Trinidad, who allegedly attempted to change almost $28 million in old $100 notes into new polymer replacements on the deadline for doing so almost two years ago, has been granted $10 million bail after appearing in court charged with money laundering.

Pastor Vinworth Dayal, of Gulf View, La Romaine, was granted bail, a short while ago,after he appeared before Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gaffor on two charges under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Dayal, who is the head of the Third Exodus Assembly Church in Longdenville, is accused of being in possession of a total of $30,719,938 in cash knowing that part or all was the proceedings of criminal activity contrary to the Income Tax Act.

During the hearing, a close friend was named as Dayal’s surety for his bail. As part of his bail conditions, Dayal was ordered to surrender his passport.

Dayal came under the police’s radar after he attempted to change $28,028,600 in old $100 notes at the Central Bank on December 31, 2019.

Officers of the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) executed a search warrant at the church and allegedly found $2,691,338 in smaller denominations.

The money was detained under the legislation with the latest renewal of the detention order being granted yesterday.

In the event that Dayal is eventually exonerated he can apply for the money, which has been deposited in an interest bearing account, to be returned. Police can also seek to initiate forfeiture proceedings.

Dayal was represented by John Heath and Chase Pegus.

Dayal is scheduled to reappear in court on July 29.