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Sub Title: Child Care and Protection Act Breaches: Updates on Qahal Yahweh Religious Group Investigation
In an ongoing investigation into activities at the Qahal Yahweh Religious Group in Norwood Avenue, Paradise, St James, significant progress has been made. Eighteen individuals have been charged with breaches of the Child Care and Protection Act, while seven others are under suspicion for involvement in related offences. This article provides updates on the case, including the latest developments and the commitment of the Jamaican authorities to safeguarding the rights and well-being of children.
Charges and Court Proceedings:
The individuals charged have been granted bail and are scheduled to appear before the Saint James Parish Court on July 19. Meanwhile, seven other individuals have been arrested on reasonable suspicion and are currently in safe custody pending further investigations. These steps demonstrate the seriousness with which the authorities are approaching this matter.
The investigation has been a collaborative effort involving multiple agencies, including the Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Ministry of Health. A joint operation was conducted on June 30, resulting in the questioning of twenty-two individuals at the Montego Bay police station. These inquiries, interviews, and statement recordings have formed the basis of the charges brought against the accused.
Ongoing Investigation and Potential Additional Charges:
It is important to note that the investigation is still ongoing, and the JCF continues to gather evidence. Additional charges may be filed in due course as more information becomes available. The authorities are committed to thoroughly exploring all leads and ensuring that justice is served.
Involvement of Parents and Legal Representation:
Several parents, whose children have been placed into State care, are among the accused. Neil A. Spence, also known as ‘Benia’, voluntarily turned himself into the police and has been charged and bailed for allegations related to assault. The individuals in custody are being represented by Mr Peter Champagnie, Kings Counsel, and will be interviewed in the presence of their attorney to ensure their rights are protected throughout the legal process.
Commitment to Safeguarding Children:
The JCF reiterates its unwavering commitment to safeguarding the rights and well-being of children. This investigation serves as a testament to the importance placed on protecting vulnerable individuals within society. The cooperation and support of the public are vital in bringing these cases to justice, and the JCF expresses gratitude for their continued assistance.
As the investigation into the Qahal Yahweh Religious Group progresses, updates will be provided to the public to ensure transparency and accountability. The authorities remain dedicated to pursuing all available avenues to bring justice to those affected. The JCF encourages the public to remain supportive and patient during this process as efforts continue to safeguard the welfare of children and hold responsible individuals accountable for their actions.