Friday 30 October, 2020

Reid and four others slapped with multiple charges; remain in custody

Ruel Reid (left) and Professor Fritz Pinnock.

Ruel Reid (left) and Professor Fritz Pinnock.

Former Education, Youth and Information Minister, Ruel Reid, and President of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Professor Fritz Pinnock, are among five persons who have been slapped with multiple criminal charges and are to face the courts at an early date.

Reid, his wife Sharen, and daughter, Sharelle, along with Pinnock and Kim Brown-Lawrence, Councillor for the Brown’s Town Division in North West St Ann, the constituency which Ruel Reid aspired to represent in Parliament before he was fired on March 20 as corruption allegations emerged in relation to both the ministry and the CMU, all remain in police custody.

Before daylight on Wednesday, a joint operation involving the Financial Investigations Division (FID) of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), and the Constabulary Financial Unit of the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Division (C-TOC), mounted an operation in which four homes were simultaneously raided across three parishes – Kingston, St Catherine and St Ann. The investigative agencies have jointly indicated that the massive operation was part of investigations into allegations of corruption, fraud and misappropriation of public funds involving the Education Ministry and the CMU.

On the conclusion of the operations on Wednesday, the five detainees were interviewed by investigators in the presence of their attorneys, a joint release from the investigating agencies stated.

At the completion of the interview process, the five were charged with a number of criminal offences, including:

* Breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act (CPA)

* Conspiracy to defraud

* Misconduct in a public office at common law

* Beaches of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

The investigating agencies said the accused persons are to be placed before the courts “at the earliest possible time”.

The agencies also said the investigations remain ongoing.

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