Wed | Oct 23, 2019

Police swoop down on Ruel Reid, Fritz Pinnock and St Ann Councillor

Published:Wednesday | October 9, 2019 | 5:54 AM
Former Education Minister Ruel Reid

Livern Barrett and Danae Hyman, Gleaner Reporters

Police detectives are now at the houses of former Education Minister Ruel Reid and president of the Caribbean Maritime University Professor Fritz Pinnock in connection with a major corruption investigation.

The months-long probe involves the Major Organised Crime Agency (MOCA) and the Financial Investigation Division (FID).

Reid resigned on March 20 amid the corruption allegations and yesterday, Pinnock was sent on special leave with immediate effect pending the outcome of the probe.

Law enforcement officers swooped down on Reid’s St Andrew house at 5 o’clock this morning, the same time they arrived at Pinnock’s Hellshire home in Portmore, St Catherine in unmarked vehicles. MOCA detectives are also at the St Ann home of Jamaica Labour Party Councillor Kim Brown Lawrence.

IN PHOTO: Fritz Pinnock

Both men asked that they be allowed to contact their lawyers as the investigators presented warrants to search their premises.

How the DPP weighed in

In July, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn found that four criminal laws may have been breached by "key players" in the Ruel Reid- CMU corruption case.

READ: Four criminal laws possibly breached

In addition to the breaches of the four criminal laws, the DPP said there were possibly two common law offences and possible administrative breaches.

She also recommended further investigations but said the decision whether to arrest and charge any of the accused and place them before the court rested with the police and other investigative bodies.

The FID head Robin Sykes had called the DPP’s opinion solid, saying it would guide further investigations.

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