Suspended police constable Elvis Ebanks was granted conditional bail in Summary Court on Monday after Crown Counsel Laura Manson detailed allegations that the officer had received two sums of money in exchange for not arresting a foreign national.
Ms Manson said the matter began with a cell phone. The foreign national, here on work permit, came into possession of the phone and began using it as if it were his own. As a result, the true owner was made aware of who had the phone.
PC Ebanks went to the workplace of the man who had the phone and confronted the man, who readily handed it over. The phone was returned to its owner.
PC Ebanks then allegedly placed the man in the back of the vehicle he was driving, but without arresting him. The Crown’s case was that Ebanks then drove the man around in an attempt to intimidate him, telling him he could go to jail for 10 years*, but said he would not arrest the man if the man paid him money.
The man allegedly handed over US and CI currency totalling $140, after which there were negotiations and a sum of $500 was agreed. The officer said he would contact the man about collecting the money. He then dropped off the man, who then contacted police and gave his account.
When PC Ebanks phoned the man on 14 November, the call was recorded. The meeting was arranged at CountrySide Shopping Village. After money was handed over in a carrier bag, DC Ebanks drove out of the complex and was blocked by two police vehicles.
There was a slight struggle, after which the bag was found on the road. Ms Manson said the money was found in the car.
When arrested and cautioned, Ebanks made no reply. On the way to the police station, however, he was quoted as saying, “I’ve done nothing wrong. I just borrowed the money.”
Ms Manson said the complainant/victim was frightened and felt vulnerable because he was on work permit.
She asked the court to direct that Ebanks not contact any prosecution witnesses, along with other conditions.
Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn agreed with them and added a requirement that Ebanks hand over his passport and not leave the Island.
Defence Attorney Michael Wingrave said the offences were denied. He observed that, with bail conditions set, that would end the matter until Ebanks appeared in Grand Court.
That date was set for Friday, 30 November.