Slowe not quick enough to uncover scam sooner
Nathaniel Slowe (not Stowe, as had previously been reported), a Guyanese national working on the Grenadine island of Canouan, spoke exclusively to SEARCHLIGHT, after the woman who conned him, Molicia Hunter, changed her not guilty plea back to guilty, when she appeared at the Magistrateâs Court in Kingstown on Friday, November 21.
Hunter was represented by lawyer Ronnie Marks, who informed magistrate Carla James that because of new information coming to hand, he would like the charges to be read to his client once again.
When the 12 charges were put to Hunter, the Peruvian Vale mother of two entered guilty pleas on all counts.
Magistrate James reserved judgment to yesterday, November 24, when she ordered Hunter to repay a portion of the money to Slowe, over a period of time; failing to do so would result in prison time.
She was also released from custody, after time served for some of the smaller amounts.
After Fridayâs hearing, Slowe told SEARCHLIGHT that he genuinely believed that he was helping a friend in need, and considered the transactions, ranging from $180 to $10,000, as loans to Hunter, who passed herself off as a fair skinned woman, and not white, as had been said.
He refuted allegations that he had said that he didnât want “black women because they made ugly babies.â
“I never said that. How could I say that about black women, when I have five children with four baby mothers and they are all black women?â Slowe asked in self-defence.
“What happened was that she sent me a picture of a light skinned complexion woman and said it was her and then she sent me a picture of herself and said it used to be her maid, and asked me if I would have a relationship with that person. I told her that was not my type of person.
“I donât want people to believe this racial thing where she used it as a reason to take money from me, because I say I donât like black women; that was never a fact.â
Slowe told SEARCHLIGHT that he became friends through phone calls and Whatsapp messages with the person whom he saw in the photo; but did not “fall madly in love,â as was said. He said he decided to help her because he genuinely believed that she needed assistance; first to help care for her ailing mother; then when she claimed to have crashed her BMW car into another vehicle.
He said after the “vehicular accident,â she claimed that relatives of the person who got into the accident with her stabbed her sister.
Slowe said he then received voice notes from different voices who threatened to hurt Hunter if the vehicle was not paid for.
According to the experienced mechanic, Hunter made promises to repay him, even agreeing to put property she owned in his name, as collateral.
He said that Hunter even had him speak to someone who she said was her sister, who was residing in the United Kingdom and had come home for carnival, and heard voice notes from the “angry relativesâ of the other car owner.
Slowe said all of this made him come to the conclusion that there were other persons involved in the elaborate scheme to relieve him of his money.
He played some of the voice notes for SEARCHLIGHT, and indicated that there were more, where there were promises to repay, and promises of affection, when the two would meet.
“After getting to the bottom line that this wasnât authentic from her, then I realized that it was a group of people who was doing this thingâ¦. I helped people before in this way and they would repay me, but the people that I helped were Grenadians and Guyanese. It teach me a lesson now that Vincentians are thinking differentâ¦.â
When asked why it took so long to catch on to the scheme, and what made him finally realize what was happening, Slowe said that the tricks played on him were crafted and sounded genuine, and even at times when he had doubts, he still thought they were genuine.
The victim said that after Hunter kept stalling on her promises to come to see him in Canouan, he asked a friend on the mainland to look into the situation, and that person informed him that she was not all that she claimed to be.
He said the friend informed him that Hunter was not light skinned and did not live at Mesopotamia, as she claimed, and that she neither owned a vehicle, nor did she hit a vehicle, or have a vehicle to sell.
He said that he used the first opportunity he got to come to the mainland, upon which he reported the matter to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), who looked into the matter and subsequently arrested Hunter, charging her with deception.
“I never saw her until she came to court the first time, because every time she was supposed to come down, she would make excuses.â
Slowe told SEARCHLIGHT that he was hoping that Hunter would receive the harshest punishment that the law allowed, since he believes that he was not the first person that she and her group had taken for a ride.
“From what I gather, they did this to more persons.
“The lawyer is saying that she grow up poor and in poverty, and left home at an early stage, but that does not give her the right to become a criminal. I grow up poor too. I am not a rich man. I was only trying to help.
“She should get the maximum penalty.â