Fraud Accused Denied Bail in First Court Appearance

461

Wednesday 9th January, 2019-Shakeema Charles who is facing multiple charges for fraud and larceny was denied bail when she appeared in court today.

Charles who turned herself into police on Monday after being in hiding since December, when a wanted bulletin was issued for her by the police, will return to Court in March, when committal proceedings are expected to begin.

Though the Magistrate has the authority to grant bail in the matter, Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh reportedly refused Charles’ attorneys request. They can petition a High Court Judge if they so desire.

In making the case for bail, the woman’s attorney told the chief magistrate that the two other people in the case suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ray John and his mother Yvonne Nickie were granted bail, but Magistrate Walsh said the fact that Shakeema Charles has been in hiding for weeks, means she can be a flight risk.

The defense team told the court the St. Johnston’s Village resident was not in hiding, but was ill and unable to respond to calls from the police when they showed up at her residence. One of her attorneys, Lawrence Daniel was reportedly aware of her illness, but with him being overseas, it allegedly slipped his mind to report she was incapacitated.

Yesterday, Shakeema Charles was slapped with six charges. Five counts of conspiracy to forge five bio pages for Antigua and Barbuda passports and a single charge of larceny.

In December, a warrant signed by a Magistrate was issued for the immediate arrest of the woman who law enforcement described as “being on the run.”

The other two offenders in the passport fraud case Ray John and Yvonne Nickie are jointly charged with five counts of conspiracy to forge Antiguan and Barbudan Passports, contrary to common law.

Additionally, John is charged with the larceny of 54 multi-layered infilling sheets and one multi-layered infilling patch, property of the Antigua and Barbuda Passport Office. He is also charged with receiving four multi-layered infilling sheets and one multi-layered infilling patch.