Guyanese `Cash jet’ pilot jailed for 13 years over drug trafficking, money laundering in USA

Khamraj Lall
Khamraj Lall

Khamraj Lall, the man who had a private hangar at the CJIA, Timehri was sentenced today to 156 months in prison for trafficking hundreds of kilogrammes of cocaine into New Jersey and New York in the US and then laundering over US$10.2 million in cash drug proceeds, US Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Lall had once transported former President Donald Ramotar in his plane and his apparent preferential treatment at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri had raised questions about who had done due diligence on him. He was held by US authorities after a large amount of cash was found aboard his plane when he made a stop in Puerto Rico en route to Guyana.         

A news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey noted that Lall, 52, of Ringwood, New Jersey, had been found guilty by a federal jury in Trenton on October 4 last year of all eight counts of a superseding indictment, including counts charging him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, money laundering, structuring monetary instruments, and conspiracy to commit money laundering and structuring. The release said that U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

The release said that according to documents filed in the case and the evidence at trial:

“From April 2011 through November 2014, Lall, a private pilot, smuggled hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Guyana to New Jersey and New York on his privately owned jet aircraft and then laundered the proceeds.

The release said that Lall, who owed a private jet charter business called Exec Jet Club based in Gainesville, Florida, used the proceeds of his cocaine empire to procure jet planes, houses, and cars. It said that he also paid over US$2 million in cash stuffed into suitcases to a Florida contractor to build the airplane hangar in Guyana.

Over a 3-½ year period, Lall also made (or had others make) 1,287 cash deposits totalling approximately US$7.5 million into more than 20 different bank accounts in New Jersey and New York, much of it in US$20 bills. In order to avoid detection and circumvent bank reporting laws, the release said that all 1,287 deposits were for amounts less than US$10,000.

In November 2014, the release noted that Lall was flying one of his jets from the U.S. to Guyana and stopped in Puerto Rico to refuel.

“An outbound search of the plane uncovered US$470,000 in cash stuffed into a suitcase hidden in the tail of the plane, and another US$150,000 in cash hidden under a seat”, the release added.

It said that in addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Lall to five years of supervised release. The Court had previously ordered Lall to forfeit his interest in two jet airplanes, two airplane hangars, multiple properties, a Lexus SUV, among other property linked to his crimes. The Court also entered a money judgment against Lall for US$9.3 million.

The release said that U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents and task force officers of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur; the Morristown, New Jersey, police department, under the direction of Chief Peter Demnitz; special agents and staff of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael; the Drug Enforcement Administration-Rochester, New York, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt; the Federal Aviation Administration, Law Enforcement Assistance Program; and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations Center under the direction of Richard T. Booth, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

Lall and his co-conspirators deposited or directed others to deposit the cash proceeds from the cocaine distribution in amounts less than US$10,000 into various bank accounts, including but not limited to accounts in his name, his wife’s name, his mother’s name, the names of his three minor children, and in the names of his companies, Exec Jet Club, Exec Jet Sales, KL Express and Kaylees Investments.

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  • kamtanblog  On 09/28/2019 at 5:56 am

    Corruption at highest and lowest levels
    Try convict and incarcerate the lot !

    2nd February is not far away
    So is “black gold”….
    Guyana must move onward and forward.
    Let’s see many new laws not only
    initiated but rigorously enforced…with
    jail sentances….hard labour !
    Cane cutting et al


    • Unknown  On 09/28/2019 at 9:56 pm

      Sentencing sees low for the crime

    • Trevor  On 09/29/2019 at 2:08 pm

      These man ain’t schupid.

      They gon get deported to Guyana, and they have islands and mansions waiting for them there, like RK.

      One thing Guyanese drug lords differ from those American gangsters is that Guyanese drug lords think more like the mafia than gangsters who spend millions on items, but not for a future!

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