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Passport Scam Case Dismissed, Retrial Expected for Police Officer and Accomplice

High Court throws out forgery case against ASP Ray John and Shakeema Charles due to legal gap

The passport forgery case against suspended Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ray John and his alleged accomplice Shakeema Charles was thrown out of the High Court and is now slated for retrial during the next scheduled Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court assizes.

After four weeks of hearing witness testimony and weighing legal objections, Justice Yunde Bakre accepted the defence of John’s and Charles’ attorneys that he could not continue to try the case without a jury. The case was then dismissed but with a promise from state prosecution to apply for a retrial. 

This week, John and Charles were once again brought before the Magistrate’s Court for their first hearing in relation to the new case. Both individuals were granted bail by Magistrate Conliffe Clarke, marking the beginning of yet another trial.

John and Charles are once more facing two charges each of conspiracy to forge the Antigua and Barbuda passport bio pages using Multi-Layered Infilling Sheets which the prosecution believe Charles stole from her former work place at the passport office and gave to John.It is then suspected that John made an arrangement with a Vincentian government worker, Lonzel Jones to replicate the bio pages of people wishing to buy land in Antigua and Barbuda. 

In addition to the conspiracy charges, John himself is accused of two counts of receiving property in connection with the alleged crime, adding further complexity to the legal proceedings.

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