Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Alston “Boxer” Alexander has found himself on the wrong side of the law.
ASP Alexander and his female companion Marcia Watson were each granted bail in the sum of EC$400, 000 after they were arrested and charged on 17 counts of money laundering and fraud related offences.
The two appeared before Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill at the No.1 St. George Magistrate’s Court last week Thursday where bail was granted with 3 sureties.
As part of the set bail conditions, the two accused will have to report to the Grenville Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 6.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m,as well as surrender all their travel documents to the court and to have no contact with the witnesses.
According to Police Prosecution, Inspector Godfrey Victor at least 6 police officers are down to be witnesses in the impending court matter.
The charges laid on “Boxer” and his companion came after months of investigations by members of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) into the purchase of chicken by the Special Services Unit (SSU) from the police officer and his lady friend.
Instructions were given by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to jointly charge the two suspects for the alleged offence of defrauding the Government of Grenada of more than EC$933, 000.
Specifically, Boxer and his lady friend are charged with 7 counts of fraud by false pretense, 7 counts of money laundering, 1 count of attempt to defraud, 1 count of conspiracy and 1 count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The senior police officer who was promoted from the rank of Inspector to Assistant Superintendent of Police during a special ceremony at Fort George in 2013, has retained the services of Attorney-at-law, Francis Paul to represent him in the matter, while the other co-accused is being represented by female Attorney-at-Law – Denise Burris from the Law Firm of Danny Williams and Co.
They are due to reappear before the St. George’s Magistrate Court Number 1, on October 16.
Almost one week later, police were called in to investigate another matter involving “Boxer” in the St. Andrew’s area.
A vehicle owned by the accused was discovered in the Paradise river.
Boxer’s arrest came one day after another longstanding police officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Claudius Coutain was also arrested in connection with an alleged Driver’s licensing racket with controversial businessman, Matthew “Captain” Harris.
ASP Coutain was slapped with 5 counts of deceit of a public officer and one count of conspiracy to deceive the public office.
Coutain and Harris are expected to make their first court appearance on September 3.
This newspaper understands that the Public Service Commission (PSC) is yet to take action against both Coutain and Boxer who are expected to be officially suspended from duties and placed on half month’s salary.
The arrest of the two have left a bitter taste in the mouth of Acting Commissioner of Police, Winston James who believes that the incidents have only served to damage the image of the island’s police force.
“Man, I am not charged but I am feeling guilty too,” commented James last week Thursday during a press conference at Police Headquarters at Fort George.
Commissioner James said the two matters are subject to trial and declined to comment further on the grounds that “it would be highly unethical” for him to discuss the evidence (in the matters) at this time.”
However, he acknowledged that the alleged acts “is something that will affect the image of the Police Force,” and as the Commissioner of Police it will also have an impact on him.
“It will definitely affect me…we do not only deal with local people here (we) also deal with people outside of the country, regionally and internationally and that will send a bad message out there,” he said.
According to the island’s chief cop, since his return as head of the Force following the change government in general elections in 2013, he has been sending a very “strong message” to his officers that “such activities will not be condoned” and that the “appropriate action will be taken” if a situation is uncovered.
“No one, including police officers are above the law,” Commissioner James added.
The Commissioner went on to give assurances that the Force “will continue to investigate all complaints” brought to its attention.
“We will continue to provide quality service to everyone and I look forward to the usual support,” he remarked.