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Cops hit scammers out west - Deportee and 'fake' American arrested

Published:Tuesday | May 8, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Adrian Frater, News Editor

Western Bureau:

A deportee and a man the police identified as his brother were arrested and charged for unlawful possession of property and drugs during a police-military operation against lotto scammers in Pondside, Hanover, yesterday.

The men, who were taken into custody, have been identified by the police as Davian McAnnuff, a deportee, and Ricardo McAnnuff, both of Pondside.

However, the man identified as Ricardo insisted he was not related to Davian and was in fact an American citizen.

"He (Ricardo) produced a passport identifying himself as Joe Ashley Shaw Jr and is claiming to be an American," said Superintendent of Police Leon Clunis, who led the operation.

"Based on our examination of the travel documents, we have concluded that it is a fake."

During a search of the house where the men were held, the lawmen found US$5,700 in cash and just over J$100,000, alongside a quantity of ganja. The police subsequently seized a presidential model 1999 Land Cruiser Sum, believed to be valued in excess of J$10 million, and a 2004 Toyota Tacoma vehicle.

Previously charged

Based on preliminary investigations, the police have learnt that Davian McAnnuff was arrested for identity theft in the United States, which led to him being sent to prison and subsequently deported to Jamaica.

The alleged fake passport used by the man identified as Ricardo McAnnuff might have deceived immigration officials at the airport, as the document was stamped allowing him entry into Jamaica.

"We believe he (Ricardo), too, might be involved in identity theft, based on the documents he used to enter Jamaica," said Clunis.

The path that led to the arrest of the men started with the search for the Land Cruiser, which Clunis said eluded the police in a previous operation.

"Based on recent intelligence, we learnt it was in the Pondside area," Clunis said.

When the police arrived in Pondside yesterday, the vehicle was seen on the property of an 84-year-old man, who told the police he had seen it parked in his yard but was unsure who owned it.

"The elderly man and his grandson were briefly detained by the police but, after questioning them, we became satisfied that they were not involved in anything illegal," said Clunis. "They were therefore released."

Since the police stepped up its offensive against lotto scammers last year, more than 100 people have been arrested and millions of dollars in cash and assets seized.

adrian.frater@gleanerjm.com