Witness insists pawnshop does not accept stolen items

Friday, April 26, 2019

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AN executive of a popular pawnshop in Kingston, where members of the so-called Uchence Wilson Gang had allegedly pawned and sold stolen items, yesterday maintained that the financial institution does not do transactions with stolen goods.

The witness, during her evidence-in-chief, insisted that the company does not entertain transactions with stolen goods, and that it has a system in place whereby customers have to produce a receipt for the item that they are pawning or selling, or a letter of ownership signed by a justice of the peace, in order to do business with the company.

The pawnshop executive, who was being cross-examined by attorney Pamela Shoucair-Gayle in the Home Circuit Court, also testified that individuals who do business with the company have to give their fingerprints, and that the police are aware of this measure.

Gayle is representing Jermaine Stewart, one of two former employees of the pawnshop who are on trial. The other ex-employee is Ricardo Sirju, who was a senior loan associate and assistant relief manager.

A Crown witness previously testified that both pawnshop employees knew that the goods were stolen and that they were the main workers with whom he would work to pawn items such as cellphones, laptops, cameras, and television sets, which the gang had got during different robberies.

Both accused are being tried, along with reputed gang leader Uchence Wilson, Corporal Lloyd Knight, and 20 alleged gang members, on various charges under the Criminal Justice Suppression of Criminal Organisations Act (Anti-Gang Legislation) and the Firearms Act.

During yesterday's court proceedings, a police witness from the Technical Services Division testified that she had been instructed by her superior to be a part of the team of officers who went to the different robbery scenes with the two former members of the gang, and take pictures, recording the location with a GPS (Global Positioning System) device.

The pictures that were taken by the witness were shown to the court and were each described by the witness.

The trial will continue today before Chief Justice Bryan Sykes.

— Tanesha Mundle

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