Venezuelan Woman Free To Leave

A Venezuelan woman who recently swindled one of the local commercial banks of close to EC$100, 000.00 has been ordered by the court to leave the State after repaying the money.

Maria Omana Mendoza – the Venezuelan woman who swindled the local bank

Maria Omana Mendoza – the Venezuelan woman who swindled the local bank

Maria Omana Mendoza who was arrested by the Financial Intelligent Unit (FIU) on May 24th pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and false pretense.

The woman who came into Grenada with her male companion, Jinardo Jose Martinez Rojas on May 21st paid restitution to the court in the sum of $10,000 on each of the two counts, while the sum of US$14,000, and EC$8,010 that were recovered from her was returned to the affected bank.

Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill gave the order for Mendoza to leave the State on Tuesday moments after she completed giving evidence in the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into a non-capital murder case.

Venezuelan Gabriel Pestana, and Cuban Arturo Plutin Rodriquez are charged in connection with the death of Rojas, the reputed husband of Mendoza.

The Venezuelan woman has been an inmate at the Richmond Hill prison for just over two months after she was taken into custody following the defrauding of the local bank.

Pestana and Rodriquez are jointly charged in connection with the death of Rojas.

A post-mortem revealed that the 28-year old Rojas died as a result of extensive skull fracture sometime between May 26th and Saturday May 28th at Lowther’s Lane, St. George’s.

Mendoza, a Yoga Instructor and Singer who gave evidence as a witness in the PI into Rojas’ death provided the court with some of her activities in Grenada after checking in at a Guest House in the south of the island.

The 25-year old Spanish-speaking woman told the court through an interpreter that she first met Rojas in the Dominican Republic on May 20th, and on the following day they traveled to Grenada.

She said she last saw him alive on May 24th while she was about to enter the bank when the police swooped down on her.

She indicated that while incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Prisons, she was taken to a Funeral Home on May 29 in the company of a number of Prison Officers where she identified Rojas’ body.

During her testimony both Mendoza and Pestana were seen smiling at each other.

She told the court that she met both accused men in Grenada.

Police swooped down on Mendoza as she was trying to take out money from someone’s account.

Days before the Venezuelan woman had visited the bank with false ID documents impersonating the account holder and managed to get away with US$38, 000.00.

The bank became suspicious when she returned to make another withdrawal and called in FIU who nabbed her.

Rojas who accompanied her to the bank managed to flee the bank and the police started a search for him.

A few days later his body was discovered in Lowther’s Lane.

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