Chris Jones released on $100,000 bail, barbershop equipment seized


The Police on Friday released former Director of Sports Christopher Jones on bail of $100,000. He was arrested earlier on a claim that he had state assets at his home.

The Police had late Thursday night tried to seize the equipment but a standoff between Jones and others against them prevented that. The Police also did not have a warrant and returned later to complete the job.

An audit conducted showed that the Ministry of Social Protection approved the disbursement of $4.9 million under the Region Four administration for the procurement of equipment for barbershop under the Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development (SLED) programme.

However, a description of the SLED project under the then Ministry of Communities had stated that it was meant to cover community-based projects with a per capita investment of approximately $400,000.

Jones, in a live interview with some media houses, said he applied for a “loan” from SLED; however, the project does not offer loans, but cash grants, which does not have to be repaid.

Jones said he applied for funding to buy 16 chairs, air-conditioning unit, and other equipment and was granted the project under then Minister of Social Protection Amna Ally.

The project description states that SLED works by distributing interest-free cash grants to registered groups and associations, needing the economic boost to improve their economic enterprises.

A Financial Return presented revealed that the full amount was spent by December 31, 2019, but almost $1 million in items were not actually delivered and the project was not executed and some of the equipment was stored at Jones’ home.

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