Monday, 20 February 2023 14:17

Second woman charged re illegal land sale at Clifton, St Catherine

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Another woman has been slapped with charges relative to the illegal sale of land close to Clifton in the Greater Bernard Lodge area of Portmore, St Catherine.

Natalie Walker, who is charged with conspiracy and is said to be the president of a citizens association in the area, appeared in the St Catherine Parish Court on Friday, along with co-accused Suelyn Ward-Brown, reportedly a school principal.

The educator is charged with several offences, including breaches of the Proceeds of Crime Act Jamaica (POCA ), the Law Reform Fraudulent Transactions Special Provisions Act, and common law - conspiracy to defraud of land in Portmore, St Catherine.

She was offered $2 million bail back in October of last year.

On the other hand, Walker, who was charged two weeks ago, was granted station bail in the sum of $200,000, and made her first court appearance on Friday.

For her alleged role in the land scam, prosecutors said Walker was the person who called many of the now complainants in the case, an accusation that her defence team has rejected.

The sum that was fleeced from the victims of the alleged scam has since been doubled, moving from the initial $4 million that was reported last year, to $8 million.

Ward-Brown and Walker had their bails extended to March 20, when the case will again be mentioned in court.

Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) were tasked with conducting an investigation into the illegal sale of land in the Greater Bernard Lodge development area following the controversial demolition of unfinished houses in the area in October of last year.

After being both criticised and praised for ordering the demolition exercise, Prime Minister Andrew Holness named the St Catherine-based Clansman gang as having benefitted most from the scam.

Last year the prime minister acknowledged, too, that some of the affected individuals are members of the security forces and civil servants.

Following a probe, the police apprehended Ward-Brown and accused her of being one of the perpetrators behind the illegal sale of the Government-owned lands in Clifton.

The woman, through her attorney, has vehemently denied any involvement in the matter.