Fifty-six-year-old Robert Swain reportedly purchased a motorcycle with cash, days after he allegedly received a $5,400 bribe from a local contractor.
This was revealed during his first court appearance before Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards on Tuesday
He pleaded not guilty when the charge of ‘bribery by a public official’ was read to him.
Prosecutors allege that on a date between December 3 and 31 last year, the accused public official allegedly accepted the cash as his portion of proceeds from a government project.
What the court heard happened
The court heard that during the dates in question, the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works went on Christmas leave. During that time, several projects were being tendered, and the accused, who was a senior Administrative Officer, allegedly used the opportunity to his advantage.
The court heard that the accused man approached a local contractor who was bidding for a contract of more than $52,000 to install, among other things, doors and what was referred to as an ice and water shield above the Ministry of Finance office in Road Town.
The labour and materials of the said job came to $37,000.
Prosecutors claim the contractor only met one of the three requirements needed for him to win the bid.
Following the tendering process, there was allegedly a last-minute verbal agreement between the accused man and the local contractor who was then awarded the contract
It is alleged that they verbally agreed that 55
The court further heard that on December 18, the contractor and one of his employees handed an envelope containing $5,400 to Swain in a parking lot in Road Town
Days after, Swain bought himself a motorcycle in cash, the court heard.
It is alleged that in the days that followed, Swain got angry because the funds he received did not add up to his alleged cut, which should have been in the region of $20,000.
As a result, Swain allegedly approached the contractor in a threatening manner while they were at a bar on December 29.
The court heard that Swain was allegedly armed with a knife and two broken bottles and threatened the complainant for the balance of the funds.
The contractor reported the matter to the police on January 3. An investigation was launched and Swain was subsequently arrested and charged.
Swain was also charged with common assault.
It is alleged that on December 2 2016, he reportedly assaulted a female. He was not required to plead to that charge.
In the meantime, the accused was granted $70,000 signed bail.
He was ordered to surrender his travel documents and report to the Road Town Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 6 am and 12 pm.
His matter was adjourned to May 9.
Attorney-at-law Stephen Daniels represents the accused man who is a resident of Sand Box Road on Tortola.
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