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(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) The State on Tuesday closed its case against former travel agent Vicky Boodram and her ex-husband on 107 fraud charges arising out of a failed cruise ship voyage.
Special prosecutor Elaine Greene led evidence for the State before Senior Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine in the San Fernando First Court. The State proceeded via paper committal last April, whereby the statements of the witnesses were tendered into evidence and only the defence determined which of them they needed to cross-examine.
On Tuesday, charging officer Sgt Vinelle Bassarath was cross-examined by attorney Jagdeo Singh who represents Boodram’s ex-husband Ravi Arjoonsingh.
Boodram’s attorney Jeewan Rampersad reserved cross-examination.
When Singh finished his cross-examination, Greene indicated that the case for the State was closed. Singh informed the court that he would be making legal submissions on behalf of his client.
Arjoonsingh was a director of the now-defunct Boodram Travel and Ship Ahoy Cruises Ltd owned by Boodram.
It is alleged that several people paid more than $1.3 million to the company for a Caribbean cruise advertised for April 2011, but the cruise did not materialise.
The victims were not refunded. Boodram and Arjoonsingh were initially charged with 109 fraud offences but two of the charges were dismissed because the prosecution could offer no evidence in those matters as the victims had died.
Boodram was also charged with two money laundering offences. Those charges alleged that in September 2010 Boodram purchased a Mercedes Benz for $621,042.45 and in October 2010 bought a house and land at Palmiste, San Fernando, for more than $2 million, knowing that the money was derived through fraudulent means.
During the inquiry, the prosecution tendered some 50 witness statements and 84 exhibits into evidence. Arjoonsingh is out on bail while Boodram is in prison custody. Singh is expected to file written submissions by June 4 while Greene is to reply by June 14.
The matter was adjourned to June 25 when the prosecutor is expected to rule on the submissions.
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