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RGPF withdraws extradition case involving Credit Union robbery in Carriacou

Vincentian nationals Anlee Brown and Hyah Parsons were freed from the Serious Offences Court in St. Vincent last week Friday

Having exhausted the time required to make a formal extradition request for two Vincentian men linked to the October 2019 armed robbery at the Carriacou branch of the Grenada Union of Teachers Credit Union (GUTCU) for them to be sent to Grenada for Prosecution, the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) was forced to withdraw its provisional request, pending the outcome of further investigations.

Speaking in an interview with THE NEW TODAY on Monday, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Christopher Nelson QC, said this is the result of some evidential issues that are affecting the strength of the identification of the two suspects and these matters need to be fully explored before a formal extradition request could be made again.

23-year-old Anlee Brown and Hyah Parsons are alleged to be the ones captured on the company’s camera during the robbery around 8:30 a.m on October 11, 2019, making a successful get-a-way with EC$26,205.60.

The police had issued a wanted bulletin showing the faces of the men and had also notified regional and international law enforcement agencies of their alleged crime.

The two were subsequently arrested in St. Vincent on October 25, 2019 and had been granted bail pending the outcome of the extradition hearing.

DPP Nelson pointed out that the “men were not arrested and charged in St. Vincent per say”.

“We indicated that we had an interest in them and please provisionally arrest them pending an extradition request. So, we are in the process of reviewing the evidence and getting additional evidence to see where it leads, bearing in mind that we have to (be) able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that these two men are in fact the two persons who robbed the credit union and that information really surfaced in St. Vincent based on the two pictures that (were) circulated on Social Media that folks thought that these were our men.

So, based on that they were provisionally arrested,” he said.

DPP Nelson explained that while there was some evidence available, which was what had triggered the initial provisional arrest, “there is a lot more to follow up on and that requires time”.

“The evidence available at the date of the provisional arrest was essentially the pictures captured on video (and) from pictures alone one cannot make a conclusive determination bearing in mind that they had on garments, glasses and their faces were partially concealed and the resolution (of the photos) is not the best. So, if one (of the suspects) is saying no, it was not me, I was not there I was elsewhere then we have to explore all of these and see what other evidence is there that can make a stronger connection.

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“So, in light of that and the fact that we will not be in a position to make a formal extradition request in a timely manner within the 30- 60 days period, which has already passed, we have indicated to them (Vincentian Prosecutors) to discharge the men because the request will not be coming in a timely manner, while we continue our work and if and when we are in a position to do the formal request we will do it.

According to DPP Nelson, the decision in the Vincentian court to free the men should not mean that the efforts to capture the credit union culprits are over.

“This does not in any way affect our ability to proceed with the matter,” the DPP said, noting that the focus is now on “building a stronger case against the men.

“So, we need to examine all the circumstances to make sure that the suspects are in fact the perpetrators of the crime…so, basically, the investigations are still ongoing and we have not moved forward with the formal request for extradition because we want to put forward a stronger case as possible…if we are in a position, where we are fully comfortable we can request the extradition – it’s not that they are free and that’s the end of the matter,” he remarked.

Local police had already arrested and charged a 26-year-old Taxi Driver from Hillsborough, Carriacou, with conspiracy charges in connection with the GUTCU robbery, in a matter that is pending before the Carriacou Magistrate’s Court.

Kevron Quashie is believed to have been the driver of a 1996 Suzuki Escudo registration #PJ168, which reportedly drove the two men from Hillsborough to Windward as the getaway vehicle following the robbery incident.

A release from the Community Relations Department (CRD) of RGPF on Monday stated that “with the matter requiring further investigation and ultimately more time, the RGPF requested that the (Vincentian) suspects be discharged as the investigation continues”.

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