Lambirds CEO cleared of money laundering charges

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Lambirds CEO cleared of money laundering charges
Dr. Iftekhar Shams
Dr. Iftekhar Shams
Dr. Iftekhar Shams

Embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lambirds Academy Dr. Iftekhar Shams has been cleared of money laundering charges brought against him by several of his former students.

The decision was handed down by Magistrate Ermin Moise at the Gros Islet court today (October 27).

Attorney-at-Law Marcus Foster who is representing Dr. Shams said he is pleased with the ruling.

However, the CEO still faces a human trafficking charge, as well as charges of obtaining by deception.

While Dr. Shams is still on remand, Foster said he will be making further applications for his client to be released.

The CEO and two other Asian men have been accused of luring a number of foreigners here, with promises of an education and jobs overseas.

The students are mainly from Nepal, India and the Philippines. They claimed that they each paid US$9, 000 for the courses and US$13,000 to get to St. Lucia, to undertake various courses.

However on arrival here, they were told by law enforcement authorities that they had been duped.

The over 70 plus suspected students have been left stranded here as a result of the investigation.

(5)(6)

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Is this the only burning issue about this scandal? after the main guy who created this scandal has successfully gone home leaving all the rest students in this scandal stranded? so what about the rest of the students who cannot go home even if they are willing to produce their own ticket?

    (3)(1)

  2. I predicted all what is happening now, go back to my post where i said that i don't see how this man could be charged with money laundering. I said it was a weak charge based on what the prosecution had to prove. I also predicted that the case will be thrown out, but only because of the deliberately weak charges proffered and the fact that the lead investigators on the matter were re-deployed. Do you smell a rat?

    A logical mind would imagine that the guy would be properly charged for fraud by deception, misrepresentation etc. However, such charges would cut deep into the Government's own actions and credibility. I am not going to speak again on the Human trafficking charge.

    (3)(0)

  3. And yet the present government wants to force the CCJ down the throats of St. Lucians without a referendum. Our legal system is a disaster and we cannot pretend otherwise.

    (6)(0)

  4. One guy wrote, " the prosecutor never showed up so the
    Magistrate dismissed the Case".......on a technicality? WOW
    we would like to know who the prosecutor in this case is.
    Is he paid by the Government or by the accused?
    I smell Hush money: this whole affair could explode in many
    people's faces, and I see Jail time for some. Who's on de Bobolist?

    (7)(0)

  5. I feel very sorry for the students and all what they had to go through. When will they be reimbursed? I hope another school is not reopened under a different name like Goatbirds.

    (3)(1)

  6. So many conspiracy theories going around. This guy should be tried in another Island. All the comment here shows that he will never get fair justice in St. Lucia. Because of media exposure, everybody just made up their mind that he is guilty. Even if the Judges after hearing all sides, gives a ruling in his favor; new theory surfaces that the Judge must have been bribed. Can't this be the case that he did not do anything, was running a college which was closed prematurely without proper facts and the Police and DPP are trying to save their face with baseless week lawsuits.

    (2)(5)

  7. Smh Corruption to the highest level. I hope the Americans are listening and watching. This is disgusting to the outside world. It says that people can use St Lucia to do their illeggal activity and no justice for those involved. Why cant the students be refunded? The cash should still be there. Some high ranking government officials are being protected. Smh.

    (5)(2)

  8. The only way to put it, for it to be seen that the Government had a
    weak case, is for the Government to frame it fraudulently, to be
    weak so as to get the required, smelly dismissal for this man. Has
    it ever dawned on anyone, that if the defendant was ever to be found
    guilty, what would happen??? many in high offices on the Island may
    have to be called to testify. No damn way - that wont happen.
    The question is, will the other cases be heard before the general elections?
    Go figure. If you can solve this one - you're a genius.

    (1)(0)

  9. Obviously he would have been cleared. Had he been found guilty this case would have implicated a number of so-called prominent individuals who would have been facing some serious charges.

    Typical St. Lucia, always protecting the white-collar criminals whilst the Maléwé full up the prisons.

    (11)(0)

  10. A very strange twist. No one expected this outcome. What was his lawyer's argument ? On what technicality , (created or accidental) was he freed ?

    (1)(0)

  11. So who is to to blame??? Where is the money?? who is responsible. Who is guilty?? Questions Questions noo answer. ONLY IN ST. LUCIA. THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN ST.LUCIA ANYMORE

    (5)(0)

  12. WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    so the students will not get their money back.
    what I find interesting is the fact that he was found NOT GUILTY on Money Laundering charges but yet still faces charges of obtaining by deception. this would be considered a type of fraud??

    so the students who were sent back have nothing to get ????

    hmmm the system I tell u

    (2)(0)

  13. The most glaring of all things with our justice system is, how can this case be called forward ahead of other more severe cases when all other cases are held off because of renovations of the courts, is it because that they have money that they can be held in another location? Whats about justice for the poor people, can't the powers that be relocate temporarily too, to speed up the justice system?
    Lawyers are too quick to call for their creature comforts than their clients rights and well being. They are better prepared to fix the legal system than a mechanic, seamstress, fisherman, farmer, taxi driver etc. it just goes to show that it suits them, that the legal system is in chaos and they make more for their pockets this way so we pay the ultimate price.
    We the people now have the task of putting in a proper legal system that works for the people of this country and make the lawyers and the rest of the judiciary follow our system or they are put out to pasture.

    Bay tease

    (2)(0)

  14. What a load of crap!!.....why don't this DPP just retire already cause she's not helping our situation in any way....sleeping on the impacts issue....now this!!!....why don't you guys just Shams a St. Lucian passport!!!!....bunch of jokers!!

    (5)(1)

  15. It is a frivolous lawsuit and this poor guy was made a political scapegoat. I agree with the Defence Attorney, the domino will now crumble... Wait and see.

    (3)(2)

  16. I hear a bunch of empty comments but I pose the question, what proof did the government have against him? Or should I use the argument, "you see mate, he looking guilty, he must be laundering money!"
    Is this laundering money or was he scamming students? Do we need a source-of-funds or we already know the money came from the students and his intention was to make a money 'on their back'?
    This ruling doesn't say he is innocent, simply that it wasn't a case of money laundering.

    (1)(1)

    • Money laundering according to the FATF is being involved in getting criminal proceeds into legitimate financial channels. To clear him of money laundering charges implies he was not involved in any criminal activity.
      Do you believe that man is not a criminal? I can show you 70 reasons why he is.

      (0)(0)

  17. The fact is there was never even a trial, the prosecutor never showed up so the magistrate dismissed the case...technically Shams was cleared of nothing since there was no hearing.

    (1)(0)

  18. Give jack his jacket and Jerry his jary, Mr Therold Prudent and his party were no fools for standing their grounds veey early on the issue if Lambird and saying the government had a weak case. What an embarrassment this is.

    (10)(6)

  19. What, cleared of money laundering? that's only the
    beginning. What next? Is there no justice in St.Lucia?
    You mean, some hair brain magistrate, no I really mean
    some 1/2 ass Lawyer who sat as a Magistrate, let this man
    off the hook??? only in St. Lucia.

    (15)(11)

  20. some body got paid behind closed doors. wow! what is wrong with our justice systems in this lovely country system Saint Lucia.

    (7)(7)

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