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Reid, Pinnock and company set to spend tonight in police custody

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former Education Minister Ruel Reid seems set to spend tonight in police custody after his arrest a short while ago.

Following a more than six-hour long search of Reid's upper St Andrew residence this morning, a team from Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), emerged from the house with a number of people hidden under a blanket.

It is believed that the people under the blanket were Reid, his wife Sharen, and their daughter, Sharelle. They were placed in an unmarked police vehicle which quickly sped away.

Several documents, computers and other items were also taken from the house by the police.

This detention came hours after President of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) Professor Fritz Pinnock was held at his St Catherine house and Brown's Town Division Councillor Kim Brown Lawrence was arrested in St Ann during a coordinated strike by MOCA, the Financial Investigation Division (FID) and the Constabulary Financial Unit of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Division (CTOC).

Chief Technical Director of the FID, Robin Sykes said all five people are to be questioned and charged this afternoon.

According to Sykes, the investigators believe that they have established a strong case against all five and will put them before the court.

“An operation of this nature relies on where the evidence is taking you, the strength of the evidence as well as serious issues of logistics, serious issues of resources mobilization,” Sykes told Cliff Hughes on Nationwide News Network this morning.

“This is not something that we pulled out of the hat one day or two days ago.  This is something that we have been planning and we have been monitoring the activities of targets and this is the day we have decided to proceed,” Sykes added.

He confirmed that the premises of former Member of Parliament for St Ann North Western Othneil Lawrence, was also searched as part of this morning's coordinated operation, but Lawrence, who was given a $5.5 million contract by the CMU was not arrested.

However, Sykes did not rule out the arrest of Lawrence and others as investigators continue their probe allegations of corruption, fraud and misappropriation of public funds involving the Ministry of Education and the CMU.

Arthur Hall


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