Settlement reached to end Lambirds Academy scandal

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CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Feb 1, CMC – Nearly two years after they arrived here hoping to get an education, students from Nepal and The Philippines, who claimed that they paid at least US$9,000 each to secure a place at Lambirds Academy, have finally received a fair deal.
Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Daasrean Greene, said the matter was settled through mediation between the owners of Lambirds Academy and the affected students.
The attorney for the Lambirds Academy chief executive officer Dr. Iftekhar Shams said that the students have been reimbursed their tuition and the other expenses incurred while here.
“As it stands now, Dr. Shams is no longer facing the prospect of these charges hanging over his head any longer,” attorney Shawn Innocent told the St. Lucia News OnLine publication
But he said that the matter involving human trafficking is still pending.
Shams and two other Asian men have been accused of luring the students to St. Lucia with promises of an education and jobs overseas.
In 2015, the then St. Lucia government announced it would launch an independent inquiry into the Lambirds Academy, following allegations of human trafficking.
A Government Information Service (GIS) statement noted that the inquiry would determine, “among other things, how the investors were granted approval, how the students arrived on island and what arrangements were made for their studies and welfare”.

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