Police fraud probe - Investigation launched into $1.5m fund transfer

Published: Wednesday | August 12, 2009

Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator

Fraud Squad detectives have been called in to investigate apparent financial irregularities at the Jamaica Police Academy (JPA) in St Catherine.

The investigators are hoping to shed light on the circumstances under which $1.5 million was allegedly transferred from the coffers of the JPA to the personal account of a senior police officer.

The Gleaner has learned that the alleged irregularities were uncovered during an audit conducted by the Inspectorate of the Constabulary, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Charles Scarlett, the inspector general.

Money sent back

It is alleged that after persons got wind of the transaction, the money was transferred back to the JPA's account in two instalments - first $1 million, then $500,000.

"I did some administrative investigation and based on the investigation, the matter was turned over to the Fraud Squad. That is all I am prepared to say at this time," Scarlett told The Gleaner yesterday.

At the time the alleged irregularities were uncovered, Senior Superintendent James Palmer was the officer-in-charge of the JPA. Responding to questions about the alleged discrepancies at the academy, Palmer referred The Gleaner to Police Commissioner Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin.

A staff member at the JPA who spoke to The Gleaner on condition of anonymity said thousands of dollars from the canteen or kitchen and a chicken-farm programme were unaccounted for.

Director of communications for the JCF, Karl Angell, confirmed the audit. He said it began about three weeks ago, but declined to say anything further until the results of the audit are available.