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By Zaya Williams
The long-awaited passport fraud trial, featuring suspended senior police officer Ray John, commenced yesterday in the High Court.
The suspended Superintendent of Police is charged alongside is ex-lover Shakeema Charles-who worked at the Antigua and Barbuda Passport Office- for conspiring with a Vincentian Lonzel James to forge passport bio pages.
John also charged for receiving 16 Multi Layered Infilling Sheets worth $1600 each.
The first witness was Superintendent of Police Lisborn Michael, who joined the force with John on the same day in April 1989.
The two were friends ever since and according to the witness, on April 3, 2018 John asked him to deliver some documents to a partner in St.Vincent since he was going there for a funeral days later.
The witness said he agreed thinking nothing of it and was given a brown envelope with the name Lonzel Jones and a number written on it, in the defendant’s hand writing.
When he arrived in St. Vincent on April 5, he met Lonzel at the airport and gave him the envelope.
He told the court that it wasn’t until about a day later that he found out what had transpired.
Michael says he was called in for questioning by Vincentian police officers.
The second witness, Vincentian police officer Sorenson Douglas, who gave evidence via video call, testified that on April 6, 2018 he received information that led him to an area near the Argyle International Airport.
He and other officers observed Lonzel Jones hand two envelopes to another man and when they approached that man and checked the envelopes, they found a number of bio pages to include some from Antigua and Barbuda.
The trial will continue on Monday with more evidence from Douglas.
Justice Tunde Bakre is presiding over the case.