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Fire on Ruel Reid as police probe fraud allegations at education ministry

KINGSTON, Jamaica —The probe into allegations of fraudulent activities at the Ministry of Education and connected agencies has resulted in former Minister of Education Rule Reid now being the subject of a criminal investigation.

Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson this morning confirmed that Reid is being investigated but provided no details on the scope of the probe.

“I can confirm that there is an investigation (but) at this point I cannot give you an update on that,” Anderson told journalists in response to a question at a media briefing at the Old Hope Road headquarters of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

“Because it is on-going and it is a financial investigation and one that is a complex investigation that involves a number of agencies. The FID (Financial Investigation Division of the Ministry of Finance), C-TOC (Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Division and the CFU (Constabulary Financial Unit) [are] involved in this investigation so it is only proper that we continue this investigation without saying too much,” added Anderson.

Just over one month ago Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that he had fired Ruel Reid, then Minister of Education, Youth & Information.

In a statement to the media Holness said he had met with Reid regarding certain allegations in the public domain.

“In keeping with the principles of good governance, I requested and received Minister Reid’s resignation,” said Holness.

He said the Reid’s resignation would “ensure that any investigation into matters of concern will not be in any way impeded by his presence or oversight of the ministry”.

Since then there have been repeated calls from civil society and the Opposition People’s National Party for details of the allegations against Reid and an update on the state of the probe.

But the Government and the police have remained tight lipped with today’s brief statement from Anderson the first official word on the matter since it was confirmed that investigators carried out a search of his former residence.

Arthur Hall