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Airline fuel case set for mention January 20

Published:Thursday | December 10, 2015 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas

WESTERN BUREAU:

The three St James men who were charged in July for allegedly stealing aviation fuel from Jamaica Aircraft Refuelling Services (JARS) in Montego Bay, St James are booked to return to court on January 20 next year.

Dave Morris, Rayon Downer, and Rhoan Williams are facing charges before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's (RM) Court ranging from breaches of the Larceny Act to receiving stolen property. Their bails were extended when they appeared in court on Tuesday.

The three were arrested and charged on July 24 after the police raided three dwellings and a business place and evidence allegedly linking the men to the stolen aviation fuel was found. During the raids, $2 million in cash and documents of evidential value were confiscated.

The matter involving the theft of the aviation fuel first came to the fore on May 10, when a fuel tanker was reportedly seen refuelling at the JARS plant at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. This aroused the suspicion of airport officials as according to the police, the refuellers are only used to servicing aircraft coming into the airport.

Subsequent to the men's arrests, approximately 4,000 litres of fuel was reportedly found at an undisclosed location.

When the matter was mentioned on Tuesday, the court was told that an additional statement with regard to Williams was outstanding from the prosecution's case file.

This revelation prompted defence attorney O'Neil Brown, who is representing Morris, to inform Resident Magistrate Sandria Wong-Small that the matter had previously been put off after Williams' lawyer, Jacqueline Minto, had raised concerns over whether the prosecution had sufficient information to proceed with its case against her client.

"On the last occasion we were here, Ms Minto wanted to find out where the prosecution was going with this matter and how they would proceed. The Crown indicated they wanted one final date so they could get their house in order. All we are doing is setting a date and then coming and setting another date," said attorney Brown.

"Let us set a date that will allow us to see the outstanding statement and the prosecution is to make an assessment of the case," RM Wong-Small replied, before setting the case for mention on January 20, 2016.