A St. George’s Magistrate has set February 9 in the new year as the date for the start of the much anticipated Preliminary Inquiry into fraud charges laid against a senior police officer.
Suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Alston “Boxer” Alexander and his female companion, Marcia Watson are facing 17 counts of fraud and money laundering charges slapped on them by State Prosecutors.
The two have been slapped 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 of more than EC$933, 000 from the Government of Grenada.
Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill, who presides over the St. George’s No.1 Magistrate’s Court set the date for the commencement of the PI when the suspects appeared before her last week Friday.
Acting Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Howard Pinnock informed the court that defense counsels, Francis Paul and Denise Burris are not in agreement with a proposal that was submitted for a Paper Committal against their clients and indicated that they would be proceeding by way of a PI.
When “Boxer” and his companion made their second court appearance in October, the Police Prosecution, which is being led by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), suggested that they proceed along the lines of a paper committal to allow for the court to decide if the Prosecution had enough evidence for the case to be committed for trial, or sentence, instead of having what could be a long drawn out Preliminary Inquiry into the matter.
The two suspects were granted bail in the sum of EC$400, 000 each with 3 sureties, following their arrests in August.
Boxer was promoted from the rank of Inspector to Assistant Superintendent of Police during a special ceremony held at Police headquarters at Fort George in 2013.
He is the second senior police officer who has found himself in trouble with the law for the year.
The other is Superintendent of Police Claudius Coutain who is currently on EC$20, 000 bail after being slapped with 5 counts of deceit of a public officer and 1 count of conspiracy to deceive the public office.
Supt. Coutain was also arrested last August and charged in connection with an alleged Driver’s licensing racket with controversial businessman, Matthew “Captain” Harris.
The State is hoping to use some police officers as witnesses in the case against their senior colleague.
The controversial “Captain Harris” has been under the police radar in recent years for a number of alleged illegal activities.
In November 2014, the businessman was among persons arrested and charged in connection with the theft of several refrigerators, stoves and electronic gadgets from homeowners.
“Captain Harris was charged by Police with receiving stolen goods valued at over EC$30, 000.00 after a number of items were recovered from a property under his control in the Jean Anglais/Golf Course area.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the charges against both Supt. Coutain and the businessman are related to acts of deceiving the Commissioner of Police and engaging in a Conspiracy to defraud the State of its revenue through the alleged sale of Driver’s licences.
The law provides for licence fees to be paid solely at the Treasury within the Ministry of Finance.
Both Supt. Coutain and Captain Harris are expected to make another court appearance next week Friday (December 4, 2015).