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Crime

Former Tourist Board Director will go to trial says Supreme Court judge

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 21, 2022 – A criminal trial has been order for Ramon Andrews, former Director of the TCI Tourist Board after failing to have the case against him thrown out.

Andrews, who was investigated and arrested by officers from the Integrity Commission, was charged in 2019 for corruption and financial misconduct. His attorney Oliver Smith, KC argued that the Integrity Commission officers acted outside of their remit when they arrested him as that was a power reserved  for those in public office i.e. policemen.

The Integrity Commission Ordinance maintains its officers are not policemen.

However, leaning on court documents shared by the TCI Sun Newspaper, Supreme Court Judge Shiraz Aziz rejected Smith’s argument maintaining that “The fact that the section states that the officer is not a police officer does not of itself mean that the officer cannot or shall not arrest or charge someone who he is investigating or where as a result of the investigation, there is evidence which can support a charge.”

While the judge maintained that the specification was to keep the Integrity Commission officers separate from the Royal TCI Police, not reduce their powers of arrest thus the trial will go forward, he did admit the language of the law lent to varied interpretations.

Andrews was appointed in 2016 and in 2019 became the subject of an “extensive investigation” and was charged by the Integrity Commission.  Details on the case have been miniscule, shedding no light on the extent of his alleged corruption and financial misconduct.

There was talk of up to $100,000 in misappropriated funds but at the time of that public report, Andrews told Magnetic Media the amount of money promoted on social media in the case was inflated.

He was put on administrative leave by the Tourist Board and was succeeded by Pamela Ewing who has since resigned the post.

The matter was argued on behalf of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions by Willin Belliard, prosecuting attorney and (Governor’s appointed) member of the House of Assembly.

Caribbean News

Trial date set for case involving former BVI premier

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#BVI, November 25, 2022 – The trial date for Former Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Andrew Fahie, and his co-accused former BVI Ports Authority Managing Director, Oleanvine Maynard and her son Kadeem, is set for January 9, 2023, in Miami, Florida.

The case will be heard within a two-week trial period.

Fahie, senior BVI port official, Oleanvine Maynard and her son, Kadeem Maynard were allegedly involved in money laundering and intent to import more than 5kg (11lb) of cocaine to the US through the BVI. The most recent charge is that of Interstate and Foreign Travel in Aid of Racketeering.

Charges filed in the US said Fahie had agreed a total of $700,000 payment to allow traffickers to use BVI ports with an undercover informant.

The three were all arrested by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials in Florida, who disguised themselves as cocaine traffickers from Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel – the largest supplier of illegal drugs to the US market.

Currently, Fahie is out on bail at US$1 million.

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Crime

Over a Hundred arrested in £48 Million dollar scam in UK

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, November 25, 2022 – More than a hundred people have been arrested in a phone scam that duped more than 70,000 UK citizens out of at least £48 million.

The announcement was made by the Metropolitan Police on Wednesday after its biggest ever fraud operation.  The Met says it took down the website iSpoof which it is describing as  ‘an international one stop spoofing shop’.

Any criminal after paying via bitcoin, could use the website to ‘iSpoof’ or pretend to be someone else to steal data or money.  iSpoof worked by disguising their phone numbers so they seemed trustworthy.  After paying, criminals made millions of calls trying to trick residents into giving away one time bank passcodes or outright sending them money.  Fraudsters logged on and pretended to be representatives of major banks across the United Kingdom including Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Natwest, Nationwide and tax officers and other official offices.

“Almost 20 people every minute of the day were being contacted by scammers hiding behind false identities using the site,” at one point the Met said.

The site which was created in December 2020 came under investigation in June 2021.

iSpoof had over 59,000 user accounts and fraudsters were logging in  from the UK, The Netherlands, France, Ireland and several other areas.  Police say they are focusing on the UK violators that spent over £100 of Bitcoin to use the site first.

Detective Superintendent Helen Rance, of the Cyber Crime Unit said, “Our message to criminals who have used this website is we have your details and are working hard to locate you, regardless of where you are.”

The suspected organiser of the website has also been caught.

The initial 70,000 victims were to be contacted on Thursday but the police said as many as 200,000 victims were targeted in England alone.  The site was finally busted in an operation that involved the UK’s National Crime Agency, Europol, Eurojust, the Dutch authorities and the FBI.

The Met said losses could be far higher than the initial £48 million figure because fraud is vastly underreported.

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Crime

Police will continue Anti-Gang Operations, Governor says Rahming threatened officers with Lethal Force

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2022 – ‘Anti-Gang Policing Operations will continue’ was the decisive first line in Governor Nigel Dakin’s statement obtained by Magnetic Media on Thursday after the death of “gang leader” Brandon Rahming; answering one of the main questions of islanders who are hoping to see peace restored to the streets of Providenciales.

Dakin, who heads National Security for the Turks and Caicos Islands maintained that the death of suspects is not ever an outcome police seek out, but as law enforcers, he maintained members will not hesitate “If the Police Officer fears for his life, or another’s life.”

The Governor said Rahming threatened the police with lethal force.

“In a pre-planned policing operation, he is reported to have chosen to confront and threaten, with lethal force, the Police and was shot dead. An associate sensibly chose instead to surrender, and is in Police custody.”

He assured residents that the significant policing operations will continue across the islands.

“This is by no means the end to the Policing Operations you have witnessed in the last month Rahming’s death does not mean we can relax. The Police are on the front foot and intend to stay there. Our continued development of the Forces anti-gang capability therefore continues. The Bahamas contingent will remain with us while newly recruited specialist firearms officers are embedded in the RTCIPF.”

Police also expect to be able to give some families closure as the two weapons recovered from the scene will be forensically examined and should help resolve some of the murders for which Rahming may have been responsible.

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