Wayne Munroe: Web Shop Raids a Gamble For Police
It would be a gamble for police to take any action on web shops while the matter is still before the courts, attorney Wayne Munroe has warned.
Munroe, who represents six web shops, was responding to statements made by Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade last week.
Greenslade warned web shop gamblers and operators to “obey the law” and stop gambling as police can turn up at “any time” to make arrests.
Munroe said he has no problem with the police carrying out investigations, but added that the police have to be careful not to act outside the law when doing so.
“If they were to do something while issues are before the court it [would be] a gamble,” he said.
“When you gamble, some games of chance are improved by the exercise of skill, but fundamentally they are games of chance and while you are in litigation, it’s a gamble.”
Greenslade said when the police determine that it is appropriate to take a course of action, they will.
“But I could assure you if there is illegal activity taking place I would suggest that those persons who are a part of it should pay attention,” he said.
“We can turn up at any time.”
Munroe said if the police act irresponsibly, then the victim has a right to take action.
“Unlike some people, I’m not going to presume to tell [the commissioner] how to do his job,” Munroe said.
“No doubt he’ll be taking advice. But the most perplexing thing for us is if he acts then of course we will catch it on the CCTV cameras that are in these institutions, we’ll memorialize it for evidence and no doubt it will feature in the case.
“But we take no issue with [the commissioner’s] statements. He says what’s on his mind. He takes a position and he has been consistent with it.
“If indeed something happens that we say is improper there is a remedy for us. Whether it would be adequate or not for us is a different issue.”
Asked if he is concerned that the police may raid the web shops, Munroe said, “My position is this, we have to be prepared for what happens.
“The police will do what the police will do and once they’ve done it, as I said, most of these establishments have CCTV cameras, so it would be caught on camera.
“No doubt in this age of technology it will be recorded on people’s cell phones, video recorders…So if police are belligerent and don’t do their duty or act bizarrely then it will be captured.
“The police have the ability to [go anywhere] to investigate so nobody is saying they should not do their job. They will take advice and they will do what they intend to do. I don’t intend to tell the commissioner of police how to do his job.”
Munroe represents Percy Web Cafe, Island Luck, FML Group of Companies, Asue Draw, Whatfall and Chances.
Those web shops are appealing Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett’s decision to discharge a conservatory order that prevented web shops from police interference.
Paradise Games, which is represented by Alfred Sears, is also appealing that decision.
The case will be heard on May 24.
Both Munroe and Sears charged in their appeals that Sir Michael erred in his judgment.
The web shop operators took court action after a failed gambling referendum on January 28.
By: Krystel Rolle
Source: The Nassau Guardian