Jamaican drug kingpin loses five properties, 11 vehicles to state

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – The Supreme Court ordered that millions of dollars in assets owned by drug kingpin Norris ‘Deedo’ Nembhard be handed over to the Government.

As a result, the Government now stands to benefit from five properties located in St Ann, including a great house, as well as 11 motor vehicle, including a Mercedes Benz motor car and several motor trucks/tractors which were alleged to have been purchased from the proceeds of Nembhard’s drug trafficking.

Nembhard, who was arrested in 2004, was sentenced to 13 years in prison by a US district judge in 2009, following his extradition.

Jamaica’s Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) in 2011 brought a civil recovery claim in the Supreme Court for forfeiture of properties and motor vehicles owned by Nembhard.

The convicted drug kingpin did not respond to the claim by filing a defence, and five years later, in August 2016, a default judgement was entered against him for his assets to be forfeited to the State.

Nembhard then filed an application for the court to set aside the default judgement.

But yesterday when the application was heard, the court maintained that the assets should be turned over to the ARA, a release from the justice ministry said.

“In refusing the application, the court noted that the five years’ delay was exceptional and that Mr Nembhard had not provided any evidence to account for the delay. The court further found that Nembhard did not show that he had a real prospect of successfully defending the claim,” the release said.

Nembhard who was one of two Jamaicans designated as drug kingpins by then US President George Bush in 2004 was extradited to the USA in 2008 along with four other Jamaicans — Robroy ‘Spy’ Williams, Glenford Williams, Vivian Dalley and Herbert Henry, a former police corporal.

Their cases drew national attention, based on the allegations made by US prosecutors that they were major participants in the international drug trade between Jamaica and Colombia.

Nembhard pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than five kilogrammes of cocaine and more than 1,000 kilogrammes of marijuana, knowing and intending it to be unlawfully imported into the United States upon reaching the United States and was initially sentenced to 13 years but the sentence was reduced to nine years.

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