Immigration officer charged with 24 counts of fraud
From the Courts
February 1, 2013

Immigration officer charged with 24 counts of fraud

An immigration officer who was stationed at the E.T. Joshua Airport is now on $5,000 bail, after pleading not guilty to fraud and theft charges.{{more}}

Curlyn John, 36, appeared at the Serious Offences Court on January 25, where she was charged with 24 counts of falsifying a number of St Vincent and the Grenadines ED (immigration) cards in various names, and records required for accounting purposes. She was also charged with several counts of theft of monies, the property of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

John, a resident of Layou, was ordered to surrender all her travel documents.

The matter was adjourned to April 24.

In recent times, a number of public servants have appeared before the courts or have been accused of similar offences.

Public servant Stacia Aberdeen, 26, will return to court on June 13, 2013, after she was indicted with 112 charges of theft and deception. The Green Hill resident, an employee at the Inland Revenue Department, is accused of misappropriation of government funds, alleged to be in excess of $100,000.

She is currently on EC$40,000 bail.

On March 16, 2012, former Postal Corporation cashier Ricky Wyllie was ordered to reimburse the Corporation EC$31,571.01, after he was found guilty of theft at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on March 6, 2012.

Wyllie had stolen the money from his former workplace between December 31, 2009 and October 13, 2010. He was given a two-year suspended custodial sentence on the theft charge and was ordered to pay back the money within two years.

In a police statement, Wyllie told police officers that he borrowed money from his cash pan on a number of occasions and could not remember what he spent it on.

Up until press time, there has been no arrest in the matter where EC$67,774 could not be accounted for at the International Airport Development Company (IADC), the company in charge of constructing the Argyle International Airport.

So far, a forensic audit of the matter has been completed and has been sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. In February 2012, it was revealed that the company had been defrauded by two junior staff members. Communications Officer of the IADC Jennifer Richardson Herbert said the fraud occurred through the issuing of fraudulent invoices to the company.

In July 2012, it was reported that an investigation carried out by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning had unearthed procedural irregularities which could lead to criminal charges against an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture. The audit found that over a period of about seven years, close to $250,000 worth of goods were procured in the name of the Ministry of Agriculture, using irregular procedures.

The report on the findings was forwarded by the Director General of Finance and Planning to the Chief Personnel Officer for possible disciplinary action to be taken in relation to the person responsible, SEARCHLIGHT was told.

Additionally, according to our source, this report was also forwarded to Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams, who is considering whether there is any basis for criminal charges to be brought. Up to press time, there had been no arrests in this matter.