Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
Jamal Forde, a Customs Officer will stand trial in the Magistrate's court on November 28 in relation to allegations that he removed evidence from the Road Town Police Station in relation to the judicial proceedings in the May 18 drug bust at Baughers Bay.
Forde, 26 of Greenland, has pleaded not guilty to removing evidence [a marine boat clearance document] between May 18 and 19, 2012. The date was confirmed during his second court appearance today, October 16.
Forde, a BVIslander who has been a Customs Officer for some six years, is represented by Attorney-at-law Mishka Jacobs.
The evidence is in relation to a drug bust on May 18 at Baughers Bay where as a result of a joint operation between Her Majesty's Customs and Police, a white go-fast boat was intercepted coming from the USVI and four individuals were arrested for numerous offences including smuggling and importation of drugs.
The men charged in the relation to the drug bust are Khoy Frett, the proprietor of a courier service; Wilbert Donovan, 47 of Belle Vue; Gavin Richards, 29 of Long Look; and Guyanese native Suruj Persaud, 26 of East End.
According to Prosecution, a marine control document was used to effect the seizure of the boat and the document was intended for use by the Customs and Police departments as evidence in the trial against the men.
Forde was among the Customs and Police Officers in the operation team during the Baughers Bay drug bust.
The marine control document was discovered missing and an extensive search was carried out by both Customs and Police to locate the document, but to no avail. However, the next time the marine control document was seen was at court on May 21 when the lawyer for the four men accused in the drug bust produced it.
An investigation was then launched and officers took a statement from the lawyer.
It was also discovered from the use of CCTV footage that the defendant removed documents from a file believed to be the original case file in the Police control room.
Further investigations revealed that Forde is the owner of the go-fast boat which was involved in the drug bust and Forde is a close friend and former employee of one of the men arrested.
During an interview with Police, Forde stated that he went to the Road Town Police Station to visit his friend, who was one of the persons arrested.
He allegedly admitted to Police that he removed the charge sheet for the individual. He further explained that probably when he removed the charge sheet from the file, the marine document was between the documents, but he could not remember for sure.