Man charged for impersonating First Lady in scholarship scam

first_imgClaiming mental illness…prosecution bashed for illogical reasoningOne day after he was hauled before Magistrate Leron Daly, slapped with a string of fraud charges in connection with sums of money allegedly obtained from victims while purporting to be the First Lady (Sandra Granger), Mohammed Ali returned on Thursday last to face Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, before whom he claimed to be suffering from a mental illness for which he is undergoing treatment at the “Berbice mad house”.Ali has been convicted on several fraud and simple larceny charges, and was serving time at the New Amsterdam Prisons when the allegations were made. Between April 1 and April 30, 2017, by falsely pretending to be the First Lady andMohammed Alibeing in a position to offer scholarships to his victims, he allegedly obtained twelve pennyweight of gold (valued at $139,000) from Beverly Harris at Mahaica, East Coast Demerara; $30,000 worth of phone cards from a person at Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo; and some $30,000 in cash from another victim. These transactions were reportedly executed over the telephone.The accused had initially denied the charges laid against him. However, he admitted to inducing several persons to send sums of money to his phone, but not to the extent to which he was charged. In what seemed to be an acceptance of fate, the accused then expressed his desire to meet the First Lady in the face of a possibly lengthy penalty sentence.On Thursday, the Chief Magistrate had cause to admonish Prosecutor Arvin Moore because of the incomplete status of the file, and questioned why the charge was initiated in the manner it was.“Don’t file charges unless you are ready to proceed… You do not bring convicted prisoners out of prison willy-nilly, unless you are ready to bring them out! You’re not about logistics!” she said in rebutting the prosecution’s position that charges were initiated following advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).McLennan opined that the charges should not have been pressed in such a rushed manner. She advanced that the police should rather have waited until completion of investigation, as the accused was “not going anywhere”, being confined within the walls of the prison.As part of her reasoning, the magistrate bemoaned the issue of accessibility (of convicted prisoners) who had to be transported from their place of holding to the courts for every hearing.When given a chance to speak, Ali contended that he was undergoing counselling and treatment for an illness which he did not wish to discuss in public hearing, while further alleging that he was denied medication for three days, which he said provoked his condition, causing him to slit his wrists.Again the prosecution came under fire for failing to ascertain the health status of the accused, which inevitably led to the violation of a fundamental constitutional right.The Prosecution requested to be granted one month to complete the file, and the case was adjourned to January 22, 2018.Mohamed Ali is also an artist, who had studied at the Burrowes School of Art. He brought with him to court several pieces of his work, one of which he presented to the Chief Magistrate.“This one is for you ma’am…I have others, you can have a look if you like,” he was heard saying as an officer escorted him out of the courtroom.An obviously intrigued Magistrate McLennan read the poetic quote to the court, ending with the words, ‘Dear Lord, thank You for another chance”.In August last, amidst several allegations, the First Lady had cautioned the public against entertaining telephone calls and email messages which sought to exhort sums of money from persons under the promise of scholarship opportunities offered by her. She reminded that no such offer exists under her office, but rather under the remit of the Public Service Ministry. (Paula Gomes)last_img read more

Update – RCMP investigators remain at local landfill site

first_imgOfficers continue to search the local landfill in connection with a missing person case.28 year old Abigail Andrews was last heard from on Wednesday, April 7th.RCMP spokesperson Sergeant Dan Vermeulen confirmed on Tuesday that officers are still searching for evidence in the landfill just outside of Fort St. John.But he wouldn’t confirm what police are looking for, or what led officers to the site. Vermeulen also wouldn’t say if evidence had been found on the site.Advertisement – Advertisement -By Christine Rumleskie Photo: Police continue searching for Abigail Andrews, who went missing on April 7th – Courtesy of Facebook. Update – As of 5pm Tuesday, the RCMP have completed their search of the Fort St. John Landfill.  According to the RCMP, an exhaustive search was conducted at the Fort St. John landfill with the assistance of the BC Coroners Service and a forensic anthropologist.  At this time they have not said if they found anything or not.center_img Abigail Andrews is pregnant but not showing. She is described as six feet tall, 200 pounds, with brown hair. Andrews has hazel eyes and a tattoo of tribal art on her lower back. She was last seen wearing a black mid-length, belted trench coat, dark pants and black sequined ballet flats.A Facebook group has been set up to locate Abigail. She was last seen leaving her apartment on 99th Avenue, and walking down 94th Street towards 98th Avenue. According to the Facebook group, she informed her landlord’s father-in-law, that she was walking to her friends’ house on 98th Avenue. She had also shared this same information with her mother, by phone, at approximately 6 p.m. Wednesday evening. She has not spoken with anyone or been seen since.last_img read more

Several arrests in Grande Prairie drug bust

first_imgTwenty adults and one youth from Grande Prairie have been charged with more than 40 drug-related offences.The charges follow a month-long joint investigation between the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams and the Grande Prairie RCMP.Police say some of the charges include trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. They also say that the majority of the drug charges relate to crack cocaine.- Advertisement -Police seized various drugs, including 50 grams of cocaine, 19 ecstasy tablets, 20 tablets of methylphenidate, along with $2,000 cash and four vehicles.The people who were charged range in age between 17 and 37 years-old, with the majority being in their early to mid-20’s.last_img read more

China’s Olympic torch run may bypass rival Taiwan

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BEIJING — China’s grandiose plans for the torch relay, the high-profile prelude to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, have been engulfed in conflict by an old political rival — Taiwan. Within hours of Beijing’s announcement Thursday of what would be the longest torch relay in Olympic history — an 85,000-mile, 130-day route that would cross five continents and scale Mount Everest — Taiwan rejected its inclusion. “It is something that the government and people cannot accept,” Tsai Chen-wei, the head of Taiwan’s Olympic Committee, said in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. The episode underscores the deep mistrust between Beijing and Taipei, antagonists in an unresolved civil war, and how entwined the Olympics become with politics. The torch also is supposed to pass through another political hot spot, the Himalayan region of Tibet that China has controlled for 57 years, often with heavy-handed rule. Four American activists were detained by Chinese authorities Wednesday on Mount Everest after they unfurled a banner calling for Tibet’s independence. The controversies dimmed the gloss on Beijing’s long-awaited announcement of the torch route. At a nationally televised ceremony attended by senior members of China’s ruling Communist Party and the International Olympic Committee, organizers unveiled the torch and showed a video of the proposed route. “It will be a relay that will cover the longest distance and be most inclusive and involve the most people in Olympic history,” said Liu Qi, the head of Beijing’s Olympic organizing committee. The relay, which is supposed to embody the Olympic values of friendship through sports, is a popular public relations tool and the only contact most people have with the Olympics. As with all Olympics, next year’s relay will begin in Greece on March 25. After circling Greece, it arrives in Beijing on March 31. Following that, it will wind across Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa and then back to Asia and China before the torch ignites the cauldron at the opening ceremony on Aug. 8, 2008, in Beijing’s 91,000-seat National Stadium.last_img read more

Man City set for Spain trip after season opener

first_img0Shares0000Pep Guardiola is taking his Manchester City team to Spain for a training camp after their opening Premier League fixture © AFP/File / Anthony DevlinLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 1 – Manchester City have made the unusual decision to travel to Spain for a training camp less than a day after their opening Premier League fixture, the club have announced.City manager Pep Guardiola and his squad will fly to Girona for a four-day trip just hours after visiting promoted Brighton and Hove Albion on August 12. The training camp, which will include a fixture against La Liga newcomers Girona, has been arranged to give Guardiola time to work with players who missed City’s pre-season tour of the United States.“This trip is a great opportunity for Pep to work with his full squad in an intensive training camp,” City director of football Txiki Begiristain told the club website.“We have had some players away on international duty this summer, which means Pep hasn’t had the chance to work for long with the whole squad.“The game itself promises to be a fantastic spectacle, as Girona finalise their own preparations for their debut campaign in La Liga.”City host Everton in their second Premier League fixture on August 21.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Worth the cash? Six players on Chelsea’s wish list as Conte closes in on deal

first_imgA busy summer is expected at Stamford Bridge.Guus Hiddink is currently taking charge in the dugout, but Roman Abramovich is set to employ a more ‘fashionable’ name as his permanent manager for the 2016/17 season.And recent reports claim Antonio Conte is the frontrunner to land the job, with claims that a deal could be wrapped up in the next 10 days.Predictably, therefore, a whole host of top players are now being linked with a summer transfer to south west London.So, who might be on Conte’s wish list?Take a look at five players who could be the subject of an offer from the reigning Premier League champions by clicking the arrow above, right. 4. Paul Pogba (Juventus) – Bets on the Frenchman moving to Stamford Bridge have recently increased, perhaps in light of reports that his former manager at Juventus, Antonio Conte, is set to become Chelsea’s manager. The Daily Star claim Conte has told Abramovich he wants the midfielder, and the Russian businessman is apparently preparing an £80m offer. 5. Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina) – Chelsea will reportedly go head-to-head with Manchester United to sign the 22-year-old this summer, though he is valued at £32m, reports in Italy claim. The Italian has impressed in the Europa League, most recently getting his name on the scoresheet against Tottenham Hotspur. Apparently the winger is keen on working with Chelsea’s managerial target Conte. 2. Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan) – Chelsea are reportedly the latest club to express interest in the 21-year-old. It’s been claimed that Barcelona and Bayern Munich have sent scouts to monitor Romagnoli’s performances this season, but with John Terry likely to leave in the summer, the Blues are now considering a bid at the end of the season. The Rossoneri apparently don’t want to sell, but their resolve could be tested with a bid in excess of £30m. 6 6 1. Radja Nainggolan (Roma) – take a look at four other players Chelsea could be interested in by clicking the arrow above – Upon reports surfacing about Conte being the favourite for the Chelsea manager’s job, the Telegraph quickly claimed Nainggolan would be the first player he would chase. The 27-year-old is apparently the man wanted to replace Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel in the centre of the park, with the pair likely to be sold in the summer. 3. Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich) – According to various reports, Chelsea’s technical director Michael Emenalo travelled to Italy to assess the performance of Vidal as the Bundesliga giants took on Juventus in the Champions League, a clash that ended in a 2-2 draw. The Chile international rejected a move to the Premier League in favour of the Allianz Arena last summer, but the Blues haven’t been put off by his snub. 6 6 6 6 6. John Stones (Everton) – Yes, the rumour that refuses to go away. Chelsea have made no secret in their wish to sign the England international, and with Terry set to leave in the summer, their desire to clinch his signature will only have increased. Not to mention the number of homegrown players in their senior squad has dwindled over the past few seasons.last_img read more

Discovery of suspicious package leads to evacuation in Northridge

first_imgPolice evacuated residents and closed parts of two streets this morning after a bomb squad found a suspicious white box with wires sticking out of it on an SUV near California State University, Northridge, authorities said. Bomb squad officers used a remote-controlled robotic device to inject the package with water, which caused it to disintegrate, Police spokesman Kevin Maiberger said. Police didn’t immediately know if it contained explosives. Police received reports of the suspicious object around 3 a.m. in the 16900 block of Rayen Street. The owner of the car told officers he saw a prowler near his home, then found the package sitting on his windshield, Maiberger said. Neighbors were permitted to return to their homes around 7 a.m. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Bruins must put up brave front

first_imgTHE UCLA defense spent last season making second-tier running backs look like Adrian Peterson. Saturday, a reportedly much improved squad gets a chance to reverse that trend. The Bruins, 2-0 after glorified scrimmages against San Diego State and Rice, get their first real opponent of the season in Oklahoma, a team that began the year with national-title aspirations but is now struggling to stay in the top 25. All told, the Bruins allowed seven 100-yard rushers and four 200-yard rushers in 2004. UCLA coach Karl Dorrell oozed confidence Monday, asserting this UCLA defense is better against the run than the 2004 squad and noting the team’s success against running backs its first two games. “A year ago, Rice was the top rushing offense in the country and we held them under 200 yards and 255 yards of total offense,” Dorrell said. “It’s hard to do that versus an option team.” That might be so, but Rice running backs John Wall, who led the team Saturday with 58 yards on four carries, and Andrew Cates, who was second with 50 yards on 10 carries, are a far cry from Peterson, who set an NCAA freshman record last season with 1,925 rushing yards and finished second to USC’s Matt Leinart in Heisman Trophy voting. Peterson gained 220 yards and scored three touchdowns on 37 carries Saturday against Tulsa, shouldering the load to offset the Sooners’ hapless passing game. Oklahoma scored on three of five second-half possessions, none of which included a pass attempt. TCU defeated Oklahoma 17-10 by adding an eighth player to the defensive front and forcing the Sooners’ unheralded quarterbacks to throw the ball. Tulsa tried the same system, but Oklahoma went with the run anyway and Peterson wore the front down in the second half and broke through in a closer-than-it-sounds 31-15 Sooners victory. The Bruins’ game plan should be the same. Whether they succeed as TCU did or fail like Tulsa will show whether or not their defense has improved. As Dorrell said: “This game is a measuring stick to see what we’re all about.” — Walter Hammerwold can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239, or by e-mail at 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! UCLA enters Saturday’s game at the Rose Bowl a 6 1/2-point favorite, but the Sooners should provide the Bruins with a bigger test than their lackluster performances against TCU and Tulsa would indicate. UCLA’s rush defense ranked 105th last season, and the presence of Peterson, the lone weapon on what has become a one-dimensional Sooners offense, will show the Bruins how far their defense has or has not come. center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Peterson was suspended from practice Monday and Tuesday for missing classes but will likely play Saturday, according to press accounts quoting Sooners coach Bob Stoops. “They’re going to come out and run the ball,” UCLA defensive back Jarrad Page said. “They have a lot of weapons, and we know he (Peterson) is going to be coming right at us.” Opponents’ running games were the bane of UCLA’s existence last season, with missed tackles, inexperience and a general lack of athleticism all serving as contributing factors. The Bruins fielded a young front seven that frequently found itself outmatched by relatively average offenses. And the Bruins secondary often found itself having to chase down rushers in the open field. Good but not great running back Vernand Morency of Oklahoma State hung 261 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the Bruins in their 2004 season opener, and the Cowboys as a team ran for 426. Washington State’s Jerome Harrison, a running back more renowned for his junior-college prowess at Pasadena City College than anything he has done in Division I, gained more than a quarter of his 2004 season total of 900 yards in a 247-yard, three-touchdown performance against UCLA. last_img read more

QPR still looking at trialist Campbell-Young

first_imgQPR have extended youngster Channing Campbell-Young’s trial.Campbell-Young, who turns 20 this Saturday, featured for Rangers’ development side in a recent match against Crystal Palace and was also selected for a game this evening against his former club Bolton.He was on Tottenham’s books before being signed by Wanderers, who released him this summer.He can play in a number of positions but is primarily a defensive midfielder.QPR’s line-up for the Under-23 game at the Macron Stadium also included Swiss goalkeeper Seny Dieng, who was recently signed by the club.See also:QPR sign keeper after youngster is sidelined for six monthsQPR look at two trialistsQPR quiz – can you get five out of five?QPR striker Polter a doubt for Newcastle gameTrialist features again in QPR U23 gamePolter and Luongo doubtful, but QPR trio availableFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Raiders legend Cliff Branch dies at 71

first_imgNAPA — Cliff Branch, who played on three Super Bowl championship teams and played his entire 14-year with the Raiders, died Saturday, the club confirmed.Branch turned 71 years old on Thursday. No cause of death has been released. According to the Bullhead Ciy (Arizona) police Twitter account, Branch was found  deceased in his hotel room at 3:40 p.m.“The initial investigation revealed no suspected foul play and that Mr. Branch died of natural causes,” according to the tweet.On August 3, …last_img read more