Files served, new committal date given for Ray John et al

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Suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police Ray John, his mother, and his partner, have all been served copies of the evidence files containing the prosecution’s case against them on fraud-related charges.

This was done yesterday and they have to return to court on April 4 for their committal, a process to determine whether their case will be sent to the High Court for trial.

Court sources told OBSERVER media yesterday that the trio can now file any submissions if they wish to challenge the case at committal.

Once that’s done before the return date, it will give the prosecution time to respond and allow Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh to be prepared to hand down a decision on the scheduled date.

John, his mother Yvonne Nickie, and his partner Shakema Charles who works at the passport office, are accused of conspiracy to commit fraud and larceny.

John and Nickie were charged last April, but it was only last month (January) that Charles was added as an accused on the five charges of conspiracy to forge five bio pages of Antigua and Barbuda passports.

It is also alleged that John, who was 45 at the time of his arrest, and Charles, 43, stole scores of Multi-Layered Infilling System (MLIS) passport patches valued at $21,700.00, the property of the Antigua and Barbuda Passport Office. John is further accused of receiving the same, knowing them to be stolen.

The offences allegedly occurred between October 1, 2014 and April 6, 2018 in Antigua and Barbuda.

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

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

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