158 money laundering cases before the courts in last two years

A total of 158 money laundering cases have been brought before the courts of Trinidad and Tobago by the Fraud Squad, between 2016 to present.

This was revealed by Senior Superintendent (Ag.) Totaram Dookhie, of the Fraud Squad, at the TTPS Weekly Media Briefing today.

Dookhie sid that arising out of some of the money laundering cases, restraint of tangible assets, such as real estate, motor vehicles, jewelry, and other luxury items, was done pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act, also inclusive of financial accounts.

Persons charged included local and foreign nationals.

Snr. Supt. (Ag.), Dookhie said that between the period January to March, 2018, there were six cases of phishing investigated by the Fraud Squad.

In 2016, there were 24 reported cases with a monetary value of TT$601,258, whereas in 2017, there were 36 reported cases, with an overall value of TT$7,302,802.

This represents a 1114 percent increase in the dollar value of this type of crime.

With regards to issuing of fraudulent cheques, there were 62 reports in 2016, with a value of TT$5,698,233.05, while in 2017 there were 48 reports with a value of TT$27,944,362.94.

This represents a 22 percent decrease in the number of reported cases, with a 390 percent increase in the monetary value of these crimes. Between 2016 and 2017, 30 persons were prosecuted for issuing fraudulent cheques.

Thus far for 2018, there have been five reported cases.

The TTPS is urging members of the public to be cautious when conducting online and telebanking transactions.

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