Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has served notice on Kingston businessman Justin O'Gilvie that it is closing his account.
The notice, which was dated December 18, 2012, came exactly four days after the Supreme Court lifted the freeze on O'Gilvie's assets. It was stated in the notice that the account would be closed by January 29.
O'Gilvie's assets were frozen in 2010 when the State also seized the assets of O'Gilvie's associate, Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, who was about to be extradited to the United States on drug and weapons charges. The Assets Recovery Agency had brought a suit against O'Gilvie, Coke and others. It was disclosed in court that O'Gilvie was not in partnership with Coke and the restraint order case against O'Gilvie's assets was discharged.
After NCB served the notice for closure of the account, O'Gilvie, who is being represented by represented by attorney-at-law Paul Beswick, took the matter to the Supreme Court and a consent order was made for the account to remain open until March 11.
Beswick told The Gleaner yesterday that no reason was given for the closure of the account. He said O'Gilvie would be going back to court to get a further extension or to get an injunction to bar the bank from closing the account on Monday. He said it would be argued that a reasonable time must be given if an account is to be closed and at least nine months because it was a business account.
Beswick said O'Gilvie has at least 150 employees in his business.
Beswick said a customer should not be discriminated against and that O'Gilvie was planning to file a lawsuit over the issue.
NCB is being represented by Queen's Counsel Sandra Minott Phillips.
In the meantime, the order freezing Coke's assets remains in effect.
The Assets Recovery Agency had gone to the Supreme Court in 2010 contending that O'Gilvie was Coke's business partner.
It obtained an order seizing the assets of Coke, his relatives and his company - Presidential Click - as well as those of Justin O'Gilvie, Maxine O'Gilvie and two business places - Incomparable Enterprises Limited and Bulls Eye Security Service Limited.
O'Gilvie argued that when he started the businesses, it was a requirement for him to have shareholders as part of the firm. But he said in 2004 when the Companies Act was amended, he removed Coke's name from his company documents.
Justice Lennox Campbell discharged the restraint order which was granted against O'Gilvie and his businesses under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The judge ordered the Assets Recovery Agency to notify, in writing within seven days, all the parties on whom the restraint order was served that it had been removed. The judge said the agency must tell the parties that there was not sufficient evidence to succeed in the claim against O'Gilvie.