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Credit union probing ATM thefts


The Barbados Workers Union Cooperative Credit Union Ltd has launched an investigation to determine if any of its 17,000 members have been hit by the recent theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from automatic banking machines in this island.

Speaking this morning at a news conference at Solidarity House to announce the debut of its 30th anniversary Founders’ Day Extravaganza on Saturday, credit union general manager Corinne Clarke said the credit union’s internal audit department was probing the matter.

“We are still investigating at present,” Clarke announced.

Police have so far arrested and charged two Bulgarians with two counts each of “money laundering” and “going equipped” with intent to commit theft. Going equipped means possessing implements to assist in the commission of a crime.

The non-nationals appeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court on Saturday and were remanded to Dodds Prisons until Wednesday, when they have to be back in court at District “B”.

The two accused, 42-year-old Vladimir Lachezarof Momchilof and 37-year-old Krasimir Yanakiev Yanakiev, were taken into custody on October 6 at Grantley Adams International Airport.

Police said that at the time both men had more than $300,000 of various denominations in their luggage and concealed on their person.

Barbados TODAY understands that a third suspect had been identified, but had eluded police forces here, in Antigua and Barbuda, and in Britain.

“I will confirm that, we are, through international means, investigating a third man, who is of Bulgarian nationality,” police public relations officer Inspector David Welch told Barbados TODAY last week.

Just last week, Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith told a news conference that the investigations into the “security” breaches of the ATMs were at a delicate stage.

“We are working with our regional and international law enforcement partners in this investigation,” Griffith declared.

He has sought to reassure the Barbadian public and visitors, that the force will continue to work assiduously in providing a safe environment for all.


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