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Teller caught in pension cheque scam

PORT OF SPAIN — Fraud Squad detectives believe they have made a major dent in a possible million dollar pension cheque scam after detaining a RBC Royal Bank teller and a former police officer last Friday.

Investigators say a 23-year-old female RBC teller of the Independence Square branch in Port of Spain was held with at least six of the 135 stolen old age pension cheques.

The cheques amounting to more than $1 million were stolen from a postal worker in Ghany Trace, Cunupia on April 29 this year by two masked gunmen who made off with the bag containing them.

A senior investigator close to the case said the bank teller had already cashed five of the stolen old age pension cheques and was detained by police after they were contacted by bank officials.

Sources say the teller would process the cheques, stamp them as if paid out, and then pocket the money.

Based on information given to police by the San Juan woman, they believe this was a well coordinated operation in which hundreds of thousands of dollars from pensioners were pilfered over a significant period of time.

The investigators say the bank teller confessed that the operation had been going on for a quite a while, and appeared nonchalant about what she had been doing.

The teller reportedly told Fraud Squad detectives that a man had been conducting the operation in the San Juan area and he would put in train plans to steal the cheques≠ — the most recent being the robbery in Central Trinidad.

The cheques would then be delivered to her later by a teenage boy to be cashed out.

Police sources say the teller kept a percentage of the monies which she used to purchase clothing and other personal items while she deposited another portion from the proceeds of the stolen cheques to her savings account over a period of time, with the remainder given to the man she claimed was the mastermind behind the operation.

Investigators believe it is only a matter of time before they are able to recover the rest of the stolen cheques.

Acting on information police later detained a man who was a former police officer.

They say he was dismissed from the service sometime ago on questionable grounds. (Express)

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