Senior Cop Suspended As Passport Racket Probe Begins
Friday 13th April, 2018 – A major investigation is taking shape as law enforcement authorities begin probing a possible passport racket involving Antiguan and Barbudan Passports.
Senior Police Officer Ray John was suspended today following the execution of a warrant on his Gunthropes residence. John is allegedly named in a passport racket in Saint Vincent that was reportedly broken up by law enforcement there earlier this week.
According to the reports, two people were reportedly detained in St. Vincent after they were allegedly found with fraudulent documents including bio pages of Antigua and Barbuda Passports.
Additionally, police in St. Vincent reportedly seized equipment and other documents from individuals purporting to be Antiguans, but who are reportedly of other nationalities. Part of the statement that was shared on social media named the senior officer of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda as allegedly being involved in the illegal activity.
This development comes one day after government, through Information Minister Melford Nicholas reported though they were privy to information on social media about a passport ring being broken up in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, they were not contacted by the authorities there.
Earlier today, officers, led by Head of the CID, Clayton Davis executed a search warrant at John’s residence. The search which reportedly lasted for several hours ended with John’s colleagues removing several bags. Sources have revealed to our newsroom the bags contain evidence that are reportedly incriminating. Additionally, large sums of United States currency were also discovered and seized according to our source.
A statement this afternoon from the Communications Department of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda confirmed that Assistant Superintendent of Police Ray John is suspended as a result of his alleged involvement in the passport racket.
The communiqué detailed that members of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force have indicated an interest in coming to Antigua to assist in carrying out further investigations into the matter.
The Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda says it wants the general public to know that this is the initial stage of the investigation and they will keep the public updated as the investigation progresses.