Sunday, June 20, 2010
Dudus Coke Power
Source: Tyrone Reid, Sunday Gleaner Reporter
IN AN apparent attempt to avoid being fingerprinted, west Kingston strongman, now the nation's most wanted, Christopher 'Dudus' Coke resigned as a director of the firm Bulls Eye Security Services Limited.
A requirement for being granted a licence to operate a private security company in Jamaica is that every director has to be fingerprinted.
The Sunday Gleaner has learnt that an initial attempt to license the west Kingston-based security company in accordance with Jamaican law was abandoned in 2003 after the directors were advised that fingerprinting was a requirement.
The application for licence had been submitted to the Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA) - the arm of the national security ministry which manages, monitors and regulates the private security industry.
When Bulls Eye was finally licensed five years later, Coke was no longer a director, but he remained a major shareholder.
Interestingly, shareholders are not subject to the stringent antecedent checks that directors have to undergo.
Checks with the Companies Office of Jamaica revealed that the Spanish Town Road-based security company was incorporated on June 12, 2003, with Michael Coke and Justin O'Gilvie listed as the directors.
A highly placed source told The Sunday Gleaner that the 2003 application was submitted to the PSRA that month.
The first Bulls Eye application had all the requisite documents, including the required letters of recommendation, articles of association and a tax-compliance certificate but was void of the critical criminal record report, which entails obtaining the fingerprints of the company's directors.
"The major check on the directorship is a criminal record check and recommendation from the head of police in that area. If you can't provide that (criminal record report), then you can't be registered to operate a security company," a source at the PSRA told The Sunday Gleaner.
At that point, the first Bulls Eye application process was aborted.
But in 2008, Bulls Eye Security Services Limited resurfaced on the desk of the PSRA. This time, the company only had one director: Justin O'Gilvie.
A 'Form 23', which details appointment of or change of directors, received by the PSRA from the Companies Office of Jamaica, said Coke, who is the subject of an extradition request from the United States government, had ceased to be a director in October 2007.
The reason stated: He was migrating.
Based on the requirements of the PSRA for armed security, Bulls Eye, licensed to operate with only unarmed guards, could have been granted a permit to import guns and ammunition.
When contacted last week, Rosalyn Campbell, executive director of the PSRA, told The Sunday Gleaner that based on the police report received from the superintendent in charge of the area where O'Gilvie lived, he would have been granted the import permit if he had applied.
"This would speak well of someone who should have firearms," she said.
Because O'Gilvie lived in Kirkland Heights in St Andrew, the request from the PSRA to determine the applicant's suitability was sent to the divisional headquarters on Constant Spring Road.
After conducting their checks, the police described O'Gilvie as a church and family man who "doesn't smoke, drink or gamble".
The senior cop also said that no reports had been lodged with the police against O'Gilvie. The officer also said that the O'Gilvie family attended Church on the Rock.
"What this says is that he is a sober person and churchman … . This (also) says he has the right temperament for someone who should be granted a licence and gun licence if he applied," Campbell said.
The police report concluded by saying they found no fault with O'Gilvie. "I deem him suitable to own and operate a security company," the superintendent said in his final analysis of Coke's business partner.
Contrary to the police report on O'Gilvie, Dianne Fletcher, associate pastor of the Cassava Piece-based Church on the Rock, told The Sunday Gleaner that neither Justin nor any other member of that O'Gilvie family were registered members of the church.
Ironically, an O'Gilvie family does attend the church, which has approximately 800 members on its register.
Back in 2003, two recommendations for Coke were submitted with the initial application.
The principal of a faith-based basic school in Kingston and a minister of religion from a church in Clarendon had penned the glowing references. Both authors were females. The principal, who was also a justice of the peace at the time she penned the missive, described Coke as "honest, hardworking, trustworthy and cooperative".
"His mannerisms and attitude are exemplary, and no doubt, he is an excellent role model for young adults to emulate," the principal said.
The clergywoman was equal to the task. She said the man known in the streets as 'The President' was not only honest and trustworthy, but one who "adheres to rules and regulations".
"I recommend him without hesitation," she said.
Coke, who reportedly fled his Tivoli Gardens stronghold late last month, is still on the run as he attempts to avoid efforts to extradite him to the US to face gun and drug-running charges filed against him in New York.