MoBay Cops formally charged with corruption
The seven policemen attached to the St James Police Division who were arrested on November 25, after they were accused of breaching the Corruption Prevention Act, were formally charged and placed before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrates Court on Monday.
The seven policemen, identified as constables Devon Bernard, Marven Campbell, Paul Williams, Tajay Allen, Alman Fletcher, Dwayne Lynch, and Denford Brown, were arrested and charged by officers assigned to the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB).
The men, who reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, were offered bail in the sum of J$500,000 each and are to reappear in Court on February 6 next year.
It is alleged that during a police operation in Montego Bay, the police found a quantity of ganja at the home of a businessman. The man reportedly offered them a bribe not to press charges, which they reportedly accepted.
The policemen reportedly accompanied the businessman to several automated teller machines across the city, from which he withdrew $300,000 and gave to them. He was then released without charge. Subsequent to his release, the man lodged a formal complaint to the ACB, which resulted in the arrest of the policemen.
Following their court appearance yesterday, the CCN released a statement saying that all seven lawmen were all charged with extortion. Additionally, some are charged with other offences under the Corruption Prevention Act.
Digicel acquires fibre network
Telecommunications firm Digicel says it has reached an agreement with Caribbean Fibre Holdings and the Guadeloupe-based Loret Group to acquire a submarine fibre network across the Caribbean region.
In a release, Digicel said it would acquire Middle Caribbean Network, Southern Caribbean Fibre, Antilles Crossings and a number of related assets from Global Caribbean Fibre.
The firm said the deal would provide Digicel with a wholly owned submarine fibre-optic cable network of approximately 2,100 kilometres from Trinidad to Guadeloupe.
Digicel said it has also entered a deal with Global Caribbean Fibre and Global Caribbean Network to provide submarine fibre capacity from Guadeloupe to Puerto Rico with onwards connectivity to the mainland United States.
Digicel Group CEO Colm Delves said the acquisition of this submarine network secures significant additional broadband capacity for Digicel.
Moravian Church suffers significant loss
Senior Moravian Bishop Robert Foster, who headed the Moravian Church in Jamaica and Grand Cayman for just over 20 years, has died.
Foster had been ailing for some time, but remained active in the Church.
Before being elevated to the office of bishop, he served as president of the Provincial Elders Conference, the highest decision-making body of the Moravian Church outside of Synod.
The current president of the Elders Conference, Dr Paul Gardner, said Foster's death was a significant loss.
Gardner said the Moravian Church would elect another bishop, to join the sitting bishop, Reverend Stanley Clarke, at its Synod next year.
Execution makes a difference in crime fight
While admitting the recently launched Unite For Change is not 'new', National Security Minister Peter Bunting is standing by it.
"There's really nothing new under the sun," he reasoned of the new crime-fighting movement.
Using a business analogy, Bunting suggested this week that the difference would be in the execution.
"Yes, we've talked about social intervention and we've had initiatives for a long time, but that doesn't mean if you haven't got all the results you want that you give up on it, Bunting said. "You keep tweaking it, you keep coming with better initiatives, better ideas, look at the data from your previous initiatives."
Bunting said his ministry would continue to invite partners, not just across ministries, departments and agencies, but NGOs and the private sector to make Unite For Change work.
"Really we want to bring a multi-sector, multi-disciplinary approach to the crime prevention side of the work we do."