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Trinidad: Prosecutor closes case against Vicky Boodram, ex-husband in fraud case

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Vicky Boodram during an earlier appearance at the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court. * Rishi Ragoonath

(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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