Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writer
May Pen, Clarendon:
The Clarendon police believe they have made a dent in a major fraud ring, arresting one suspect after raiding premises inside the Glenmuir housing scheme in May Pen on Saturday evening.
The police operation resulted in the confiscation of a vast number of forged cheques, debit cards, credit cards, fraudulent insurance certificates, licence discs, Digicel SIM card contracts and an assortment of equipment used to fabricate the fraudulent documents.
The police, who spoke with The Gleaner following the operation, said there has been an increase in complaints from business operators in the parish who unwittingly encash the forged cheques at their business establishments.
The lawmen noted that some of the cheques were written in the names of prominent companies, individuals and entities, including the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) from which one cheque was written for $5 million. Other cheques were drawn on fabricated government accounts from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
"We have been getting a number of complaints from business operators in Clarendon who have fallen victim to these fraudulent cheques that are circulating in the parish and today we successfully carried out a raid ... ," said a senior police officer at the May Pen Police Station who spoke with The Gleaner on condition that his name not be used.
"We have also arrested a suspect and seized a number of equipment including computers, printers, stamps that impress serial numbers on the fictitious documents and other paraphernalia that the fraudsters used to fabricate these documents," the senior police officer added.
The lawmen are theorising that the ring might have originated elsewhere but, because of pressure from law enforcement in other jurisdictions, the fraudsters set up shop in Clarendon. They ring appears to have been operating in the parish since 2007 based on the dates on some of the confiscated documents.
The cheques, debit and credit cards display the logos of the island's major financial institutions.