Top cop to repay cash lost in scam

KINGSTOWN — Commissioner of Police Keith Miller has accepted full responsibility for and will repay the government the $9,904.12 lost to crooks in West Africa as a result of an Advance Fee Scheme.

Commissioner of Police Keith Miller.

“I called the commissioner. I asked him about this matter; he acknowledged right away that he is responsible, said straight off that he will make good the loss,” Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday.

“I am not sure how he will pay it, whether one-off or in instalments, but that is a matter between him and the Accounting Officer, who is Mr. [Godfred] Pompey, the Permanent Secretary,” Gonsalves added.

Documents obtained by SEARCHLIGHT show that in October, the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force sent EC$9,439.12 by Western Union Money Transfer to persons in Senegal.

The police officers thought they were sending the money to pay for accommodation, insurance and visas for the commissioner, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ruth Jacobs, and Sergeant Junior Simmons, to attend a conference on Human Trafficking in Senegal.

After a fourth request for money, the commissioner became suspicious and sought the help of the United States Embassy in Barbados, who confirmed that he had been scammed.

In addition to the $9,439.12 sent to Senegal, $465 was paid to Western Union for sending charges.

The prime minister said the fact that the commissioner immediately accepted responsibility and indicated his willingness to repay the money, were in his favour.

“He said from the moment he realised it was a scam, he contacted the FBI, so all those are things in his favour, but obviously, it is a mistake which ought not to have been made.

“He acknowledges that.”

Gonsalves said while some may call for the resignation of Miller, there are mitigating factors in his favour. (Searchlight)

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