Dudus’ assets seized; Gov’t facing legal action from relatives

(Jamaica Observer) The assets of former Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke were on Wednesday ordered forfeited to the State.

The order, made by Justice Lennox Campbell, comes more than two years after the assets were frozen when Coke was extradited to the United States to face gun and drug-running charges. He is now serving time in a US prison after pleading guilty to lesser charges last year.

The order was made in default, as Coke was not represented in court to challenge the application which was made by the Government’s Asset Recovery Agency.

Coke’s assets include his business, Presidential Click Promotions Limited.

Meanwhile, the Asset Recovery Agency on Wednesday withdrew its claim for the forfeiture of the assets of businessman Justin O’Gilvie and his wife, as well as relatives of Coke.

Following the withdrawal, Justice Lennox Campbell gave O’Gilvie, his wife and Coke’s relatives permission to pursue damages resulting from their assets being frozen for more than two years.

O’Gilvie’s assets, including that of his companies, Incomparable Enterprises and Bulls Eye Security Services Limited, those of his wife Maxine; Coke’s mother, Patricia Halliburton (now deceased); and the mother of his child, Stephanie Gayle, were frozen in June 2010.

The assets were frozen following an application by the Assets Recovery Agency, which had claimed that the assets were given to Coke’s relatives and friends to launder. Coke was, at the time, being pursued by law enforcement personnel to effect an arrest warrant for his extradition to the United States on drug and gunrunning charges.

At the same time, a battle is brewing between O’Gilvie and the National Commercial Bank (NCB), which has given him until January 29 to close the accounts of his businesses and those of this wife and children, his attorney Paul Beswick said.

Beswick told the Jamaica Observer that at the next court date on January 25 he will be seeking an order for the accounts to remain open.

According to the lawyer, he could not see why the bank would want to close the accounts as his client did nothing wrong. “Not a thing can be attributed to Mr O’Gilvie,” Beswick said. “He doesn’t even have a traffic ticket.”

According to the attorney, five other banks have refused to do business with his client and that O’Gilvie’s businesses would crash if NCB closed the accounts. He alleged that the alienation of his client was due to his “unfair” targeting by the Asset Recovery Agency and that there must be systems in place to prevent banks from closing people’s accounts without sufficient evidence. “Everybody is at risk,” Beswick said.

Last month, the High Court lifted the freeze on the assets, saying the agency had no case.

Latest in Regional News

default placeholder

Panama opens canal extension amid growth risks, cost battle

PANAMA CITY, (Reuters) – Panama opened the long-delayed $5.4 billion expansion of its shipping canal amid cheering crowds yesterday, despite looming economic uncertainty in the shipping industry and a heated battle over billions in cost overruns.

default placeholder

Brazil firm fired from T&T highway project

(Trinidad Express) Brazilian firm Construtora OAS has been fired from the $7 billion Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin. But even in the face of harsh criticism from Government, the embattled company is fighting back to defend its work on the stalled project and denying it abandoned the massive highway extension.

default placeholder

One dead, three hurt in T&T drive-by shooting

(Trinidad Express) Four people liming roadside near a birthday celebration were shot in a drive by attack in Carapichaima on Saturday.

default placeholder

Brazil’s Temer says women should retire earlier than men – paper

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer told local newspapers women should retire earlier than men, explaining why he did not support making a potential minimum retirement age equal for both sexes as his government tackles pension reform.

default placeholder

Barbados Education Minister deplores pricey graduation ceremonies

(Barbados Nation) Barbados’ Minister of Education Ronald Jones has rapped primary school principals for expensive graduation ceremonies that are unaffordable to some parents and forcing others to dig deep into their pockets.

default placeholder

Could Brexit vote be a preview of U.S. presidential race?

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – Britain’s stunning vote to leave the European Union, buoyed by a frenzy of nationalism and populist anger, was a crushing rejection of the political elite.

default placeholder

Venezuela dialogue could open way for international help – U.S. diplomat

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition could provide a platform from which they could request help from the international community, U.S.

President Anthony Carmona receives the report of the commission of enquiry into Clico from secretary to the commission, Judith Gonzales, at the Office of the President, St Ann's, yesterday.

Colman report knocks T&T Central Bank in Clico, HCU fiasco

(Trinidad Guardian) Deficiency in the Central Bank’s regulatory control of the insurance industry and the respective “visions” of CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey and Hindu Credit Union chairman Harry Harnarine have come in for criticism by chairman of the Clico/HCU commission of enquiry, Sir Anthony Colman.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: