A SUSPECTED American fugitive, Carlton Sloan Bridges, alias Brandon Lee Jones, appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday on allegations of forging Zimbabwean identity documents to acquire a local passport.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Jones (47), who now lives in Manica, Mozambique, was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate, Josephine Sande, who remanded him to today for bail ruling.
The American faces four counts of contravening the National Registration Act by fraudulently acquiring a birth certificate, national identity document and a Zimbabwean passport.
The State opposed Jones’ bail, arguing he was a well-known fugitive in his native country, a flight risk and of no fixed abode.
It is the State’s case that Jones allegedly committed a series of offences in his country and fled to Zimbabwe sometime in 2009.
On June 16, 2009, he allegedly obtained a Zimbabwean national identity document in Chinhoyi under the name Brandon Lee Jones using forged registration details.
It later turned out the national registration numbers he used belong to Asiwell Nyakarota, a Zimbabwean national born on August 25, 1955.
On July 13, 2010, Jones allegedly obtained a birth certificate on entry number SBY 1040/71 using an American certificate of birth record issued in the City of Georgia, US, indicating that he was born on June 25, 1970.
He allegedly obtained a forged Zimbabwean birth certificate in order to regularise his Zimbabwean citizenship.
The State further alleges in December 14, 2011, Jones obtained another Zimbabwean national identity document using the name Carlton Sloan Bridges.
He used the fraudulent birth certificate to acquire the identity document, whose registration number belongs to Mtisi Lilli, a female born on October 10, 1953 in Chipinge.
On August 16, 2012, Jones went to the Registrar-General’s Office and acquired a genuine Zimbabwean passport in his name, which he used to travel to different countries.
Circumstances leading to Jones’ arrest were not stated in court papers.
Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.