Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Christopher Nelson has issued a stern warning to persons who may be assisting in concealing money obtained from a localised bank fraud scheme that involved Mt. Parnassus poultry farmer Alister Stanisclaus.
The suspect along with his brother, Kemagon Richards, and his assistance at the poultry farm, Andy John are facing charges of bank fraud that took place over a one-month period.
Stanisclaus who escaped lawful custody on October 25, fled to St. Vincent where he was eventually caught, and brought back home last week Tuesday.
Over $220,000.00 has been stolen from various ATM’s throughout the country within a matter of weeks.
The State Prosecutor told reporters that approximately US $4,800.00 has been recovered.
He said the substantial amount of the money is now in the custody of accomplices of the accused men.
“I wish to caution those out there who may be holding, sitting, hiding, or otherwise securing the monies that were stolen, that it is a serious criminal offense to wit: money laundering to possess, secure, hide or in any way conceal the proceeds of a criminal enterprise”, he remarked.
“Anyone caught with any of these monies will be charged with money laundering and would face a maximum of 14 years in prison,” he added.
DPP Nelson pointed out that the criminal laws of Grenada have been amended and the State now has the ability to go after not just those who may have assisted in “sitting on the cash,” but to confiscate all of their assets once found guilty.
He disclosed that a lot of blank cards and fraudulent ATM cards are still at large and that several fake fraudulent ATM cards were used in the scheme by the perpetrators of the crime to obtain the money illegally.
“There is still a continued risk to the bank sector, so it’s a matter we have to watch and monitor carefully. We’re doing all we can to… ensure that we securely unravel this criminal enterprise,” he said.
Describing the bank fraud as “a major matter”, according to DPP Nelson, this was clearly one of the most extensive bank frauds seen in the country.
Stanisclaus was slapped with two counts of bank fraud, which is devising a scheme to defraud The Bank of Nova Scotia, and Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited.
The poultry farmer who has been on the police radar in recent years is also charged with escaping lawful custody by the police.
In addition, there are ten charges involving stealing laid against Stanisclaus by the DPP.
In addition, his brother Richards is also charged with aiding Stanisclaus to evade arrest. He is also jointly charged with some of the stealing charges that were laid on Stanisclaus.
John is jointly charged with Stanisclaus in one count of bank fraud, in addition to be jointly charged with Stanisclaus in some of the stealing offenses.
In a subsequent interview with THE NEW TODAY Newspaper, DPP Nelson said the accused men used hidden electronic devices to steal customer information when they use the ATM’s to withdraw money.
He said that having obtained the customers’ Personal Identification Numbers, they were able to input that information on blank fraudulent cards to access the funds.
The State Prosecutor is satisfied that the bank fraud is essentially a local operation but did not rule out the possibility of assistance and cooperation involving persons residing outside of Grenada.
Nelson is urging persons using ATM’s to be alert about their surroundings by making sure that it is safe at all times before conducting their business.
The three accused man were remanded to Her Majesty’s prisons at Richmond Hill until their next court appearance on December 7.