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Wednesday, 24 August 2016 20:53

Editorial TODAY Newspaper

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"EXTREME SCRUTINY"

Jumping to conclusions is always tricky but then, it is also better to be safe than sorry. The arrest, questioning and subsequent release of the Checkmate Security director in connection with a shooting related to money laundering at the Westin in May brings into question whether such a company should be allowed to render services to the port – one of the main gateways to the island.

Right now, it’s just an investigation and Mr. Checkmate is innocent until proven guilty. The situation warrants nevertheless extreme scrutiny and certainly a review of procedures at the port and the role Checkmate plays there and at possible other sensitive locations.

Published Wednesday, August 24, 2016, in the Today newspaper

Arrested and released after questioning

Checkmate-director linked to Westin-shooting

GREAT BAY – O’Neal Edward Junior A., the 34-year old director of security company Checkmate has been linked to the Mahi Mahi investigation into a shooting that took place in the parking garage of the Westin Hotel in Dawn Beach on May 28.
Yesterday house searches were conducted at A.’s house in Pointe Blanche and at three of his offices – two in Pointe Blanche and one on the A. Th. Illidge Road. There were also searches at the homes of two people in Sucker Garden, identified by the prosecutor’s office as G.W.M. (45) and A.R.L.B.T.  (35). All three men were arrested, but O’Neal A. was released after questioning. The other two suspects have been taken into custody and will appear before the judge of instruction probably on Friday.
The police force, customs, the Detective Collaboration Team RST and the Royal Marechaussee took part in the searches.
Officers confiscated drugs, documents, administration, computers and digital data carriers.
The shooting at the Westin in May has all the hallmarks of a drug deal gone wrong, though all suspects in this investigation are suspected of involvement in money laundering. Two people were injured during the shooting – Karim L. and Levy W. The latter was sentenced in 2010 to 7 years and 9 months of imprisonment for his involvement in a rip deal that ended with the death of drug dealer Marco Beaumont on May 1, 2009.
Three days after the shooting at the Westin police arrested Karim L. and a man identified as A.J. who jumped from the second floor of the parking garage to evade bullets. Levy W. was so seriously injured that he had to be flown to the Dominican Republic for treatment.
On Monday the Judge of Instruction released A.J. represented by attorney Cor Merx, from custody.

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