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Airport jet fuel theft case in court today

Published:Tuesday | August 11, 2015 | 12:00 AMAdrian Frater

Western Bureau:

The three St James men who were arrested and charged last month by officers from the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) for allegedly stealing aviation fuel from the Jamaica Aircraft Refuelling Services (JARS) in Montego Bay are slated to make their first court appearance today.

The accused men, Dave Morris, Rayon Downer, and Rhoan Williams, who were all arrested on July 24, are to appear in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court, where they will answer charges ranging from breaches of the Larceny Act to receiving stolen property.

According to the allegation against the men, the MOCA team and officers from the Financial Investigation Division and the Mobile Reserve carried out pre-dawn raids at three dwelling houses and a business place and found incriminating evidence linking the men to the stolen aviation fuel.

"Acting on intelligence, which suggested that the three accused men were involved in the theft of jet A1 aviation fuel from Jamaica Aircraft Refuelling Services, the operation was carried out," a MOCA source told The Gleaner. "We conducted targeted raids at all three dwelling houses and a business place, where certain documents were found."

According to the MOCA source, during the searches of the various premises, cash amounting to J$2 million along with documents of evidential value were confiscated and the men taken into custody.

After they were questioned, charges were laid against them.

The matter involving the theft of the aviation fuel came on the radar of the police on May 10, 2015, when a fuel tanker was seen refuelling at the Jamaica Aircraft Refuelling Services plant at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

According to the MOCA source, the activity immediately caused suspicion because such an activity was not the norm.

"The activity aroused the suspicion of airport officials as normally, the refuellers were only used to refuel aircrafts coming into the Sangster International Airport," the MOCA source revealed.

"A search was conducted and approximately 4,000 litres of fuel was found. The police were promptly alerted."

Following investigations carried out by MOCA, Morris, Downer and Williams were identified as persons of interest, hence the raids on their home and their subsequent arrest and charge.