Two officers get bail on corruption charges

Friday, January 18, 2019 - 08:00

A po­lice of­fi­cer and a Spe­cial Re­serve Po­lice (SRP) have been grant­ed a to­tal of $140,000 bail af­ter they ap­peared in court charged with steal­ing mon­ey from a man af­ter ar­rest­ing him, last year.

Act­ing Cpl An­tho­ny See­baran, 45, of Vic­to­ry Heights, Ari­ma, and SRP Lester Jones, 38, of Pel­i­can Ex­ten­sion, Mor­vant, were grant­ed bail af­ter they ap­peared be­fore Mag­is­trate Maris­sa Gomez in the Port-of-Spain Mag­is­trates’ Court yes­ter­day.

See­baran, who has 21 years ser­vice, and Jones, who has been an SRP for the past six years, were joint­ly charged with mis­be­hav­ing in pub­lic of­fice by steal­ing US$1,800 from De­on Mc­Clean. See­baran re­ceived a sec­ond charge re­lat­ed to $150 that was al­so stolen from Mc­Clean.

The of­fi­cers were not called up­on to plead to the charges, which were laid in­dictable.

Ac­cord­ing to the charges, the duo al­leged­ly stole the mon­ey on May 22, last year, af­ter they re­spond­ed to a dis­tur­bance at Mc­Clean’s home, lo­cat­ed along the East­ern Main Road in Mor­vant.

Mc­Clean re­port­ed them to in­ves­ti­ga­tors of the Pro­fes­sion­al Stan­dards Bu­reau (PSB) af­ter he was re­leased from cus­tody and re­alised that the mon­ey was miss­ing from an area of his home that was al­leged­ly searched by the of­fi­cers.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tors did not ob­ject to bail for their col­leagues dur­ing the brief hear­ing, in­stead sug­gest­ing that Gomez im­pose strict con­di­tions.

Gomez grant­ed See­baran $80,000 bail as he was slapped with two charges, while Jones was grant­ed $60,000 bail. See­baran’s sis­ter and Jones’ wife were al­lowed to serve as sureties for their bail.

Gomez or­dered both men to re­port twice week­ly to their near­est po­lice sta­tion.

She was about to or­der them to sur­ren­der their pass­ports be­fore be­ing in­formed by their at­tor­neys that they had both re­cent­ly ex­pired. Gomez then grant­ed an or­der pro­hibit­ing both men from ap­ply­ing for new trav­el doc­u­ments un­til their case is de­ter­mined.

They were al­so or­dered to re­frain from mak­ing ei­ther di­rect or in­di­rect con­tact with Mc­Clean.

The charges were laid by Sgt Greer Brit­ton-Lawrence of the PSB.

The of­fi­cers are ex­pect­ed to reap­pear in court on March 29.

- by Derek Achong