Tuesday, January 16, 2018

AG aids return of $5.5m fraud accused

...On 69 charges, held in Canada after fleeing

 Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has “successfully facilitated” the return of Trinidadian Raymond Fran­cis from Canada to face a $5.5 million fraud charge in this country. 

Francis is wanted in Tobago regarding 69 unrelated criminal tax offen­ces.

In a release issued yesterday, Ram­­logan said on Monday, December 30, Francis, escorted by two officers of the Fraud Squad, returned to Trinidad on Caribbean Airlines flight number 611, at 11.15 p.m.

Francis is wanted in Trinidad in relation to a criminal offence stemming from the alleged forgery of a letter from the Sport and Culture Fund, which contained instructions for the transfer of the sum of $5.5 million into an account held jointly in the names of Raymond Francis and his wife, Gail Francis. 

The alleged offence is said to have taken place during the period March 21-22, 2013, when the monies were received into the said account.

A local warrant of arrest was issued for Raymond Francis on July 23rd, 2013. However local authorities were unable to execute this as it was discovered Francis and his wife had left the jurisdiction for Canada. 

Gail Francis subsequently returned to Trinidad and was immediately arrested. But Raymond Francis remained in Canada.

On October 8, 2013, the Central Au­thority Unit, under the direction of the Attorney General, forwarded a request to Canada for the issuance of a provisional warrant of arrest for Francis, pending the submission of a formal extradiction request.  Francis was subsequently arrested by the Canadian authorities on November 12, 2013. 

Francis was brought before Honourable Justice HK O’Connell in the Superior Court in Canada on November  20, 2013, where he consented to waive formal extradition proceedings and agreed to be conveyed back to Trinidad on Monday, and on the following day, the warrant in relation to the fraud matter was execu­ted on Francis.

The other 69 unrelated warrants emanating out of alleged criminal tax offences committed in the Tobago jurisdiction were also executed on Francis.

Francis was brought before the Port of Spain Eleventh Magistrate’s Court yesterday and appeared before Magistrate Marcia Murray. 

He was granted bail in the sum of $600,000, with two sureties to provide $300,000 each to be approved by the Clerk of the Peace in relation to the fraud matter. 

Francis was also required to surrender his passport as a condition of bail. 

The fraud matter was adjourned to January 23 to be heard in the Port of Spain First Magistrate’s Court. 

The criminal tax matters in Tobago were adjourned to January 13 and transferred to the Scarborough First Magistrate’s Court.