Police launch probe into missing acoholic beverages at Customs
December 21, 2012

Police launch probe into missing acoholic beverages at Customs

Police have launched an investigation into “how the stuff went missing” from the Customs department, acting Commissioner of Police, Michael Charles, told SEARCHLIGHT Wednesday.{{more}}

SEARCHLIGHT reported last week Friday that director general of Finance and planning, Maurice Edwards, had requested a police probe into a “significant quantity” of alcoholic beverages which cannot be accounted for at the Customs.

“It has been handed over to the Major Crime Unit (MCU) and investigations have been launched,” Charles told SEARCHLIGHT Wednesday.

“It is in respect to some stuff that is missing,” said Charles, who is acting for police chief, Keith Miller, who is on vacation.

“The conclusion of the investigation will reveal whether there will be criminal charges or otherwise. But, as it is right now, the investigation has been launched to find out how the stuff went missing,” Charles said.

He, however, told SEARCHLIGHT that he could not say how long detectives from the MCU, an elite squad, will take to conclude their probe.

Well-placed sources, who requested anonymity, told SEARCHLIGHT last week that the missing alcoholic beverages had been seized from importers for various reasons, over a period of time.

The confiscated drinks had been stored in an area used for securing prohibited merchandise or contraband.

Customs regulations say contraband alcohol may only be used for State functions or be destroyed.

One source told SEARCHLIGHT that when checks were made of the contraband area recently, boxes that contained the liquor were in place, but the drinks were gone.

The missing beverages included some “choice bottles” of liquor, our sources said.

But the missing alcohol had neither been destroyed nor used for State functions, as the law dictates, SEARCHLIGHT was told. (kentonchance@searchlight.vc)