Another police officer has found himself on the wrong side of the law in another driver’s license scam in the country.
28- year-old Police Constable Eymon Lewis appeared before Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill on Monday facing three summary charges of allegedly making false entries on licensing forms and two indictable charges of corruption by a public officer. Lewis allegedly accepted $600 from individuals in exchange for a license.
The La Digue, St. Andrew resident, a past student of the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS), was apprehended by Immigration officers at the Miami International Airport in Florida last week Wednesday and sent back to Grenada.
His arrest comes after months of investigations by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), as the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) beefs up efforts to crack down on police officers who are suspected to be initiating license scams in order to enrich themselves.
In 2015, Superintendent of Police, Claudius Coutain along with businessman Matthew “Captain” Harris, was charged with seven counts of conspiracy in relation to a driver’s license scam. The matter is still pending in the Magistrate’s court.
THE NEW TODAY understands that Lewis was moved out of the Police licensing unit at the Ministry of Finance after a probe was ordered into his conduct.
According to a source, he sent in an application to the police high command requesting leave and even a letter of resignation indicating his intention to quit the force.
Another source said the manner in which he was able to slip out of the Maurice Bishop International Airport on board an American Airlines flight for the United States has forced the hierarchy of the force to review operations at the airport.
He said the police high command only knew that he was on the flight long after the plane had departed MBIA.
He indicated that in an effort to speed up the processing of passengers leaving the country, the immigration post has been removed from the exit post.
He said it is now the duty of the airline officials to hand over the plane’s manifest to the immigration as soon as the passengers are checked in for the flight.
The source pointed out that in Lewis’ case the information was slow in coming into the Immigration and when it was realised that the police officer was already in the air the decision was then taken to alert the immigration in Miami to apprehend him.
When the matter was heard before the Chief Magistrate, the Chief Police Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Godfrey Victor told the court that Lewis did apply for leave but it was not granted by the force.
ASP Victor objected to the court granting Lewis bail on the grounds that his former colleague is a flight risk.
He said that Lewis knew that he was under investigation, hence the reason why he attempted to flee the country as he knew full well that he had to get permission to do so.
The question that pre-occupied the mind of Chief Magistrate Gill was how the suspected police officer was allowed to leave the state without presenting the requisite documents to immigration officers at MBIA as proof of permission being granted to him for the purpose of traveling out of the jurisdiction.
Lewis, who has been employed with RGPF for approximately 5 years, has retained the services of attorney-at-law Peter David, who was successful in mitigating his bail application before the court.
After listening to the arguments put forward by both sides, Magistrate Gill took the decision to grant Lewis $50, 000 bail with 2 sureties.
He was also ordered to surrender all his travel documents to the court and report to the Grenville Police Station daily between 6.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.
Lewis’ next court appearance is May 9 at the No. 1 Magistrate’s Court in St George’s.