Customs brokers George and Matthew are back in court today, Tuesday, to face 33 new fraud-related charges
Yet again, the Police have proffered charges against two brokers who have been accused of defrauding the Customs Department of thousands of dollars.
On Monday, November 21, officers arrested and jointly charged 47-year-old Rowan Bryan Matthew of Judges Hill Estate and 46-year-old Foston George of Pares Village with 33 additional charges, adding to the slew of existing fraud-related offenses.
The duo now faces three counts of cheating the public revenue; four counts of obtaining by false pretence; three counts of conspiracy to defraud; three counts of making a false declaration; six counts of electronic forgery; three counts of fraudulent conversion; and three counts of disposing of the proceeds of crime.
According to the Police, these offences were allegedly committed between January and August 2018.
Additionally, the men have been jointly charged with one count each of cheating the public revenue; conspiracy to defraud; making a false declaration; obtaining by false pretence; disposing of the proceeds of crime; and fraudulent conversion, as well as two counts each of electronic forgery – offences reportedly committed between December 15 and 19, 2017 in St. John’s.
The duo is expected to make another court appearance today, Tuesday, November 22.
They were previously granted bail, along with two female Customs officers, in relation to other fraudulent activities that allegedly occurred at the Customs Department.
It was Prime Minister Gaston Browne who made the revelation, on radio, that millions of dollars had been siphoned from the Department and, in at least one instance, his signature had been forged.