2 men charged with uttering false pension cheques

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Hall of Justice in Port of Spain where criminal trials and appeals are heard. – Jeff Mayers

TWO men were granted $50,000 and $80,000 bail respectively, after appearing in court on separate charges of fraud when they received cash payments after uttering forged pension cheques, a police press release has said.

In one case, Shaffick Abdool, 63, of Freeport, was granted $80,000 bail by a Master of the High Court after being charged with possession of a forged national ID card, uttering forged documents, and obtaining money by false pretences.

The release said police received a report of a man who went to a supermarket in Cunupia on January 13, and presented his ID card and two pension cheques to be cashed.

The documents were accepted as genuine and he was paid $3,500 for each cheque. The documents were later found to be fraudulent.

The man then went to another grocery in the district, where he presented another identification card and cheque, but this time, they were found to be fraudulent and the police called in.

He was arrested and handed over to the Fraud Squad, whose investigations were led by Supt Arnold Lutchman and Insp Tricia Smith. Cpls Murray and Williams and PCs Ramkissoon, Kernahan and WPC Jointe assisted in the enquiries. Abdool was charged by PC Thomas.

In the second incident, Fraud Squad officers were making enquiries at a supermarket on January 16 when a man entered and presented an ID card and a pension cheque for encashment. The documents were examined, found to be fraudulent, and the man arrested.

Police said Minshell Khan, 55, of D’Abadie, was charged with possession of a forged ID card, uttering forged documents and obtaining money by false pretences. He was charged by PC Kernahan.

Khan was granted $50,000 bail by a Master of the High Court.

The release said the Fraud Squad is urging the public, especially the business community, to be vigilant, as there are fraudulent pension cheques in circulation. Every cheque should be carefully scrutinised for irregularities such as spelling errors, different fonts and incomplete signatures.

Businessmen were also asked to check with the Elections and Boundaries Commission’s (EBC) website, whenever possible, to verify the authenticity of ID cards presented by people seeking to cash pension cheques.