Customs officers charged over illegal army clothing

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A couple working at the Customs department at the V.C Bird International Airport was taken to court yesterday, charged with unlawful possession of camouflage clothing.
Eugene Francis of Yorks and Laurel Jonas of Gunthorpes were represented by Michael Archibald and Warren Cassell. The latter said when the case is called for trial, he will be challenging the charge which alleges that on May 18, the duo had in their possession seven camouflage pants, one camouflage vest, one camouflage T-shirt, one camouflage jacket and one camouflage Tam resembling the uniform the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF).
The offences are said to be contrary to Section 193 (1) (c) (1) of the Defence Act, Chapter 132 of the Revised Edition 1992 of the Laws of Antigua and Barbuda.
The police said the camouflage items were found at Francis’ home in Yorks last week when they went to the property to investigate another matter involving a missing barrel which contained illegal drugs.
The barrel, which reportedly was at the Customs Cargo department, was supposed to be under round the clock surveillance by the police K-9 unit, but at some point this ceased and it disappeared.
The barrel arrived in Antigua last week on an Amerijet flight and after the K-9 dogs raised an alarm about the contents, the police reportedly decided to leave the barrel at the Cargo area to await anyone who was going there to clear it.
However, when the surveillance system fell down, someone used the opportunity to sneak the barrel out. When Francis’ home was searched neither the barrel nor its contents were found. Jonas was not at the home with Francis when he was arrested and neither does she reside there. However, the police locked her up days later and decided to charge her too.

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