Sunday, January 21, 2018

300 Penal residents claim robbery by fraudsters

...cops question four


POLICE were called out on Wednesday to quell an angry group of people who claimed they were defrauded by four people in a Ponzi-like scheme.

At least 300 people surrounded members of an organisation who claimed that they could get items at discounted prices.

The allegations were made against a 52 year old man and 33 year old woman, both of San Fernando, and a 55 year old man of Penal, and a 35 year old man of Freeport.

Police said they were told that last month they held a meeting in Penal with residents.

The four encouraged residents to join the organisation claiming that they will be able to get subsidies for household necessities such as cooking gas, and even taxi fare.

“They said that the function of the organisation is to assist the poor man. They said that Government had taken away subsidies but that their organisation can help ”, a senior police officer explained. ”They told the villagers that after joining the organisation that they have to go out in their communities and get others to join also so that they can benefit more from the so-called subsidies. “

“We were told that the people (suspects) also claimed they were God's disciples and were preaching to the villagers”, the senior officer told the Express.

Police said that the residents invested at most $250, and at least $25.

However after a month the residents realised that the 'subsidies' were not being implemented at their local shops and with taxi drivers.

Police said when the four turned up at a meeting in the Morne Diablo Community Centre on Wednesday, the residents surrounded them demanding their monies back.

Officers of the Penal Police responded, and intervened.

The officers advised the mob to report their issues, and more than half of the attendees turned up at the station that afternoon and filed a complaint.

The senior officer said the four were not detained, but statements were being obtained by the 'victims' and investigations are continuing.