Almost two months after police seized more than $28 million from Pastor Vinworth Dayal, investigators from the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) are still looking into how the pastor got his money Detectives are tightlipped about the details, but Guardian Media was told that several people have been interviewed and statements recorded.
Alarm bells went off when Dayal went to Central Bank on December 31, 2019, the final day the old cotton $100 bills were valid, to exchange close to $29 million of them for the new polymer notes. The police were contacted after he could not provide proper documentation for how he acquired the money.
Pastor Dayal, who heads the Third Exodus Assembly Church in Longdenville, told police the money came from tithes collected over the past 19 years.
The police conducted raids at the church and the Ocean Avenue, Gulf View, La Romaine home of the pastor’s close relatives. They seized more than $2 million at the church and documents from the home. Following this, investigators were granted a detention order by the court to seize the pastor’s money pending their investigations.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, detention orders allow the police to hold money for a period not exceeding three months. The law provides for the court to grant further detention of the money, but the total period of detention cannot exceed two years. Dayal also has the option of petitioning the court for his money to be released.