The assets of former Jamaica strongman Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke were yesterday ordered forfeited to the state.
The order, made by Justice Lennox Campbell, comes more than two years after the assets were frozen when Coke was extradited to the United States to face gun- and drug-running charges. He is now serving time in a U.S. prison after pleading guilty to lesser charges last year.
The order was made in default, as Coke was not represented in court to challenge the application, made by the government’s Asset Recovery Agency.
Coke’s assets include his business, Presidential Click Promotions Limited.
Meanwhile, the recovery agency yesterday withdrew its claim for the forfeiture of the assets of businessman Justin O’Gilvie and his wife, as well as relatives of Coke.
Following the withdrawal, Justice Lennox Campbell gave O’Gilvie, his wife and Coke’s relatives permission to pursue damages resulting from their assets being frozen for more than two years.
O’Gilvie’s assets, including that of his companies, Incomparable Enterprises and Bulls Eye Security Services Limited, those of his wife Maxine; Coke’s mother, Patricia Halliburton (now deceased); and the mother of his child, Stephanie Gayle, were frozen in June 2010.
The assets were frozen following an application by the agency, which had claimed that the assets were given to Coke’s relatives and friends to launder.
Coke was, at the time, being pursued by law enforcement personnel to effect an arrest warrant for his extradition to the United States on drug and gunrunning charges.
At the same time, a battle is brewing between O’Gilvie and the National Commercial Bank (NCB), which has given him until January 29 to close the accounts of his businesses and those of this wife and children, his attorney Paul Beswick said.
Beswick told the Jamaica Observer that at the next court date on January 25 he will be seeking an order for the accounts to remain open.
Read more: Jamaicaobserver.com