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Police arrest sparks investigation within Traffic Department

Police arrest sparks investigation within Traffic Department

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The arrest of a police officer who is alleged to have sold driver’s licences for more than two years has sparked off an investigation within the Traffic Depart-ment of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) to determine how widespread is the practice.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT {{more}}yesterday, Commissioner of Police Michael Charles said that investigations began when the report was first made against PC Elron Lewis, who is currently before the Serious Offences court facing more than 30 charges of deception, relating to the sale of licences between March 1, 2013 and November 23, 2015.

The police officer, who is currently on suspension, is alleged to have obtained over EC$4,000 through these sales.

“If you follow what has been happening, almost every week other charges are being put against him,” the Commissioner said.

A source familiar with the case told SEARCHLIGHT that suspicions were first aroused when a woman, who alleged that she had paid Lewis for a licence, went to Police Headquarters looking for Lewis. Not finding him there, the woman, who had been living in the United Kingdom, told another officer why she was looking for Lewis.

According to the source, when Lewis returned to headquarters, unaware that the woman had spoken to police, he denied helping her.

Commissioner Charles, however, said that so far, Lewis is the only officer who has been apprehended in the matter. Adding that he is not one to speculate, the Commissioner said the investigation will reveal whether or not Lewis acted alone.

The Commissioner, however, made it clear that none of the persons who are alleged to have paid Lewis actually received drivers’ licences.

“If he was working with anybody in Traffic, at least two or three persons would’ve received licences. Nobody received any; we can come to the conclusion that he may have been working by himself … but the investigation would tell us all that on its conclusion.”

Charles urged the general public to follow lawful procedures when trying to obtain drivers’ licences.

“It is much easier and safer if you go through the procedures for a driver’s licence or any other thing; just go through the normal procedure; it is much easier!” he declared.

Lewis, who is currently being represented by Renrick Jones, is expected to reappear before the Serious Offences Court on June 14, after the prosecution asked for an adjournment yesterday.

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