The Investigative Team that will be tasked to probe into the final report from the Special Senate Inquiry on Immigration and Nationality irregularities has been established. According to the Police Commissioner Chester Williams the team will be led by Senior Superintendent Hilberto Romero.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “I have met indeed with the DPP. We discussed the matter and how we are planning on dealing with the issues. I have since directed or appointed Senior Superintendent Romero to be the lead investigator in respect to the Senate Select Committee’s report. Mr.Romero will be assisted by three other officers and the DPP has also appointed a prosecutor who is going to be a part of the team so the prosecutor is going to direct the police into the areas where they need to go to obtain the relevant evidence that they may need to prosecute anyone or any number of persons who may have committed any irregularities or offences that the Committee’s report may have pointed to. And you know sometimes people tend to believe that Oh you now have the Auditor General’s report, you now have the Senate Select Committee’s report and so the police can now just go and pick up people and arrest them but that is not how it works. The police still needs to obtain a copy of the report, the police then needs to launch an investigation and obtain all the relevant evidence against those persons who may be implicated in the report and so it’s still a tedious investigative process that will require the cooperation of the different agencies or organizations involved so that the police will be able to obtain the relevant documentation they need to prove whatever offence or offences it is alleged that an individual may have commit.
Reporter: Are you putting a timeline to Mr.Romero in terms of how or when to conclude this investigation?
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Well I don’t want to give a timeline because when you give timelines for investigations you tend not to get the best product of that investigation but I’m hoping that he is going to expedite it and do it within a reasonable time. I am hoping that it can be done by the end of October this year.”
During our interview with the Commissioner he also reiterated the sentiments of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that a police investigation could have been launched years ago based on the Auditor General’s report for the period 2011 to 2013.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: I will associate myself with the comments of the DPP that yes indeed there were things there or allegations that the police could have investigated from way back then and they were not investigated. Now some of these offences that may have been committed are summary offences and because of the statute of limitation even if it is that we have a preponderance of evidence against them we will still not be able to prosecute due to the statute of limitation. But we’re looking at those offences that may be able to be tried on indictment that the statute of limitation may not apply to or the summary statute of limitation may not apply to and then we’ll see how we can proceed with those if we find any. But indeed yes we did miss a great opportunity where we could have investigated and would have been able to for sure arrest certain persons for certain offences that were committed under the Immigration Act as well as under the Criminal Code.”