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Trinidad: Cops charged with stealing money from house while on duty

By Rickie Ramdass

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(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) — Two police officers faced a Port of Spain magistrate on Thursday after they allegedly stole a quantity of cash from a man while responding to a report of a disturbance at a house in Morvant last May.

One of the officers faced an additional charge of corruptly receiving $150 from the man.

The officers, acting Cpl Anthony Seebaran, 45, and PC Lester Jones, 38, a Special Reserve Police (SRP) officer, stood before Magistrate Marisa Gomez after being charged with the offences following investigations by officers of the Professional Standards Bureau (PSB).

They are both accused of misbehaviour in public office after they allegedly stole US$1,800 from the man on May 22, at a house along the Eastern Main Road, Morvant. Seebaran faced the additional charge of corruptly receiving the $150.

After the charges were read, neither officer was called upon to plead since those charges were laid indictably. The two were last attached to the Morvant Police Station.

In her application for bail, Seebaran’s attorney said her client had been a member of the police service for the past 21 years and lived at Victory Heights, Arima. The attorney asked that he be granted bail since he was responsible for caring for his elderly mother with whom he lived.

Jones’ attorney said his client lived at Pelican Extension, Morvant, and had been a police officer for the past six years. He stated, given that Jones is a police officer, he had a clean criminal background. The officer, he said, is also the father of a nine-year-old son.

The prosecution did not object to the granting of bail, but requested that conditions be attached.

Following the submissions, Magistrate Gomez proceeded to grant bail with a surety to Seebaran in the sum of $80,000, and to Jones in the sum of $60,000.

As conditions to their bail, Seebaran is required to report to the Arima Police Station every Wednesday and Saturday, while Jones has to report to the Morvant Police Station every Monday and Wednesday.

Since neither of the officers are holders of valid passports, they are not allowed to apply to the immigration office for any type of travel documents for the duration of time that the matter is before the court.

Additionally, they are not allowed to make any contact with the alleged victim, either directly, indirectly, through a third party or use of social media.

They will next return to court on March 29, by which time a State attorney is expected to be appointed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to prosecute the matter.

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