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6 cops under probe

Said caught on tape taking money from Kartel’s relative

PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Desk co-ordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, November 14, 2011    

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SIX policemen who were assigned to the Gun Court Remand Centre have been transferred and are facing certain corruption charges after they were allegedly caught on camera taking money from a close relative of jailed popular entertainer Vybz Kartel.

The entertainer, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is currently facing two separate charges of murder, along with his fashion stylist Calvin 'Moonie' Haye.

According to Observer sources, investigators from the police Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) followed one of the policemen from the Gun Court Remand Centre to the home of a close relative of the deejay where he was videotaped taking money from her.

The damning video also showed one policeman accepting money from a suspect in one of Kartel's murder cases in exchange for his being allowed to visit the deejay in a restricted area of the lock-up, said a source. The visit is said to have taken place before the man was arrested in connection with the murder case.

The man, the source noted, was not searched before being allowed into an area of the facility which is off limits to members of the public. The source also said the man spent a considerable amount of time talking to Kartel, while other police officers stood by and did nothing to bring the illicit visit to a halt.

Kartel, who has been in jail since October 3, has been transferred to the Horizon Adult Remand Centre on Spanish Town Road because of the incident, according to an Observer source.

Kartel, Haye, deejay Shawn Storm, and Cayro Jones have been charged with the August 16 murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams. Police say Williams, whose body has not been found, was stabbed and shot to death over a missing illegal firearm. The murder is believed to have occurred in Havendale, St Andrew.

The prosecution has said it has video and phone evidence in the case.

Kartel has also been charged, along with other men, with the July murder of labourer Barrington 'Bossie' Bryan in Gregory Park, Portmore, St Catherine.

Meanwhile, some of the policemen who are among the six suspects who have been transferred, have been accused of escorting a "high-risk" inmate from the Horizon Adult Remand Centre on a "shopping spree".

According to an Observer source, the inmate, who is described as being wanted by US prosecutors for fraud related to the ballooning lottery scam, was removed from the remand centre by the policemen under the guise of taking him for medical attention.

Instead, the source said, the inmate was taken to local shops where he purchased items for himself and his police escorts.

When contacted by the Observer, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of the Anti-Corruption Branch, Justin Felice, confirmed that there was a major investigation underway into the actions of six police officers suspected of serious breaches in procedure at the Gun Court Remand Centre.

"The Anti-Corruption Branch is investigating allegations that prisoners at the Gun Court were allowed illegal visits from persons bringing in contraband, including cellphones," Felice said yesterday.

He confirmed that the six policemen in question had been transferred elsewhere in the Jamaica Constabulary Force until the investigations are completed.

The case files with the allegations against the suspect policemen will be taken to Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington and the director of public prosecutions for a ruling.

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