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St Lucian suspects hauled before court in Kingstown

St Lucian suspects hauled before court in Kingstown

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A St Lucian national now faces nine counts of theft, related to recent reports of fraudulent activities at Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) around St Vincent and the Grenadines.

On Wednesday, Jammy Jameson Harry, 22, appeared before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court and was charged for thefts between March 10 and 12, 2017, amounting to $15,500.

He was not allowed to enter a plea to the indictable offence.

Harry is charged for allegedly stealing EC$5,500 in cash from Michelle Williams of Owia on four occasions, in Kingstown, Calliaqua and Bequia on March 10 and 11.

He is also accused of stealing EC$4,000 in cash from Curvis Lewis of Sion on two occasions in Kingstown on March 10 and 11.

Harry also allegedly stole $6,000 in cash from Willis Pope of Villa on three occasions, in Calliaqua, Kingstown and Bequia, between March 10 and 13.

All charges are contrary to Section 209(1) of the Criminal Code.

When the question of bail arose, prosecutor Shamrock Pierre objected, stating that Harry is a St Lucian national and given St Vincent and the Grenadines’ open borders, it is likely he would flee the country.

Pierre noted that allegations laid against Harry are serious and besides the nine charges of theft, the Lucian man may be assisting police while they carry out further investigations.

In turn, Pompey ordered that Harry be remanded into custody until he appears at the Serious Offences Court on Monday, April 20, 2017.

Additionally, two other St Lucian nationals are believed to also be assisting police officers in their investigations. However, they have not been charged in regard to theft.

Instead, Aaron Kaddo, 30 and Mario Chitole, 25, are both charged that on March 10 at Barrouallie they entered the state by boat and disembarked without the consent of an immigration officer.

Kadoo, however, was separately charged that on that same date and place, being a prohibited immigrant, he entered the state by boat.

Both pleaded not guilty to the charges and as with their colleague, prosecutor Pierre objected to their bail for the same reasons.

The magistrate noted that there is nothing to prevent the men from leaving the state and ordered that they be remanded into police custody until they reappear before the court.

Meanwhile, a fourth person is still at large and is being sought by police.

Moreover, amidst police investigations and reports of theft, the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG) issued a press release on Monday, confirming that they are aware of the fraudulent activities at ATMs, which may have affected some of their customers.

They, however, added that the incidents are not limited to any particular bank and are likely to have affected various institutions.

“The Bank continues to implement technological solutions to mitigate instances of fraudulent activity. In light of these reports, customers are therefore urged to continue to be vigilant when using ATMs,” the release said.

Sources say that law enforcement here confiscated over EC$66,000. Reports are that the fraudsters used a keypad device. (AS)

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