By Latrishka Thomas
When alleged passport scammer, Ray John and his two co-accused — his mother Yvonne Nickie and his partner Shakema Charles – failed to appear in court for their committal hearing yesterday, Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh issued a bench warrant for their arrest.
This was after a lawyer representing one of the accused Michael Archibald, told the magistrate that his client and the others thought that their matter had been set for 1 pm.
Nevertheless, Chief Magistrate Walsh ordered that the trio be arrested and brought to court on November 6th 2019.
However, OBSERVER media was unable to confirm whether or not the warrant was executed. In fact, a reliable source stated that the three accused showed up at the St John’s Magistrates’ Court a few hours later.
Meanwhile, the committal hearing for the three accused has been adjourned more than five times previously.
Over the last year, the suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police John, and his mother have appeared in the St John’s Magistrates’ Court on numerous occasions for the offences, which allegedly occurred between October 1st 2014 and April 6th 2018
Charles was accused in January 2019 on the five charges of conspiracy to forge five bio pages of Antigua and Barbuda passports.
Additionally, it is alleged that both John and Charles stole scores of Multi-Layered Infilling System passport patches valued at $21,700. They were the property of the Antigua and Barbuda Passport Office.
John is further accused of receiving the passport patches while knowing them to be stolen.
When the trio appeared in court on August 13th this year, John was slapped with an additional count of larceny under Section 9(c) of the Larceny Act, Cap 241.
Charles was also served two other unknown charges.