Committal hearing for alleged passport scammer put off again

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The committal hearing for the alleged passport scammer, suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ray John and his two co-accused, has been adjourned until July 17th.

On more than one occasion when the case has been called, adjournments were sought and granted for varying reasons.

At yesterday’s hearing, no arguments were made when John, his mother Yvonne Nickie and his partner Shakema Charles appeared before Chief Magistrate Walsh for the proceedings that were to determine whether he would go to the High Court for trial.

One of the lawyers in the case, John Fuller, asked for an adjournment to complete his review of the prosecution’s evidence file that is about five inches thick.

This month makes a year since the case against John and his mother has been winding its way through the St. John’s Magistrates’ Court.

 Charles was only charged in January this year.

It is also alleged that John and Charles stole scores of Multi-Layered Infilling System passport patches valued at nearly $22,000 – property of the Antigua and Barbuda Passport Office. John is further accused of receiving the passport patches, knowing them to be stolen.

The offences allegedly occurred between October 1st 2014 and April 6th 2018.

The alleged passport scam was uncovered in early April 2018 when police in St. Vincent accosted a man at the airport with five bio pages of Antigua and Barbuda passports among other items which included a large quantity of cash.

Collaborative work between police in St. Vincent and Antigua led to ASP John’s arrest.

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