Saint Lucia’s Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Daarsrean Greene, has disclosed that he was reliably informed that over $1.3 million was spent to maintain a number of students who were left stranded here for about two years in the Lambirds Academy matter.
The students, mainly from Nepal, claimed they were lured here with promises of an education in hospitality and other subjects and job placements overseas which did not materialise after they each paid at least US$9,000 each to secure a place at Lambirds Academy.
Greene said he made a decision based on what he recognized in the matter to allow the mediation process in criminal proceedings to take effect, bearing in mind that the defendants – Lambirds Academy Chief Executive Officer, Doctor Iftekhar Shams and his co-defendants, spent some two years on remand.
The Acting DPP said it was a lawful way of dealing with the issue.
He disclosed that as a result of the mediation, 49 charges of obtaining property by deception involving students of the Lambirds Academy and their dependents was resolved justly and to the great benefit of all the parties concerned.
“I can say safely that one aspect of Mr. Shams charges has been dealt with, so we can move on to the remainder,” Greene told the news conference.
It has been reported that the students have been reimbursed their tuition and the other expenses incurred while here.
However, the case involving human trafficking in the Lambirds Academy matter is still pending.
A documentary on the Lambirds Academy matter was produced to give persons a closer look at the experiences of students involved in a college scandal here.
The documentary is titled ‘Lambirds’ and was put together by a United States producer Lizzy Pittigrew, who felt the need to tell the story of the students.