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Jamaica: More Rick’s drama in licence row

Two weeks after apologising for flagrant violations of Jamaica’s coronavirus public-safety laws at a Mocha Fest party hosted at Rick’s Café, the tourist hotspot’s financial controller is to answer to charges surrounding breaches of the Spirit Licence Act and the Municipal Corporation Act.

Conroy Barrett was issued with summonses on Thursday to attend the Westmoreland Parish Court on June 22 arising from the hosting of Mocha Fest last month.

But it is unclear whether the police will slap further charges on Rick’s under the Disaster Risk Management Act, which carries a maximum fine of $1 million.

That development comes as the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation (WMC) contradicted the Ministry of Local Government’s declaration on Tuesday that the café had been reissued a Places of Amusement Licence.

The retort by Savanna-la-Mar Mayor Bertel Moore represents another body blow for the Holness administration, which has been stung with criticism that agencies of the State might have enabled, or winked at, the hosting of the illegal party attended by hundreds of tourists.

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