Former judge arrested in lottery scam

KINGSTON — A former judge was among five persons arrested Monday by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force on suspicion of involvement in the multi-million-dollar lottery scam.

Police reported yesterday that during an operation in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, a firearm — which they believe is illegal — and documents, known as “lead lists”, used in the lottery scam, were seized at the office of the former magistrate, who is now practising as an attorney.

According to MOCA spokeswoman Inspector Dahlia Garrick, the operation got under way at 1:00 pm and lasted for several hours.

Garrick disclosed that the process of questioning the attorney and the other four detainees should get under way “within the next 24 hours” in the presence of their legal representatives.

Yesterday, president of the Cornwall Bar Association, Michael Erskine, expressed concern that the raid at the attorney’s office could jeopardise the concept of attorney/client privilege, which basically guarantees the confidentiality of information shared between a client and his/her lawyer.

“Our concern as an organisation is client/attorney privilege. The right to privacy. Their documents must at all times be protected. They (police) must not just come to lawyers’ offices and search at random and take away documents at random,” Erskine said.

He was, however, quick to add: “If the police have reasonable doubt or are in possession of a warrant, they are free to search an attorney’s office, just like anybody else.”

Yesterday in Savanna-la-Mar, the gate to the premises where the police carried out the operation remained locked late into the afternoon.

A man who was riding his bicycle along the road where the office is located stopped when he spotted the Observer team and issued a stout defence of the attorney, claiming she was “set up”.

Meanwhile, up to late last evening, the police had not charged any of the eight persons who were arrested during similar operations in several St James communities last Friday. (Observer)

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