$2.6M buys house, land, car
By AZARD ALI Tuesday, September 4 2012
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Handcuffed: A policewoman escorts travel agent Vicky Boodram in handcuffs to San Fernando Magistrates' Court to answer charges of money laundering yes...
FOLLOWING her arrest last year on 19 fraud charges stemming from an alleged million-dollar cruise ship fraud, travel agent Vicky Boodram was re-arrested last Wednesday for money laundering.
Boodram, 39, who once operated Boodram Travel & Tours and Ship Ahoy Cruises from offices in La Romaine, San Fernando, was re-arrested by members of the Financial Investigations Unit of the Police Service.
Yesterday, Boodram, of Gambal Street, Siparia, appeared in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court for allegedly buying a house, land, and an E-class Mercedes Benz car collectively valued at an estimated $2.6 million.
Subsequent to Boodram’s arrest, Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard authorised the laying of six new charges on Thursday. Boodram remained in custody at Central Police Station, Port-of-Spain, throughout the Independence holiday weekend. On Sunday, she was transported to the Princes Town Police Station to facilitate her appearance in the San Fernando court yesterday.
Boodram and her husband, Ravi Arjoonsingh, were first arrested and charged with fraudulently receiving $5 million from hundreds of persons for cruise ship packages. They had appeared before Magistrate Debbie Ann Bassaw in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court for receiving $5,364,766.84, from persons between January 25 and November 29, 2010, contrary to Section 10 (a) of the Forgery Act, Chapter 11.13. Boodram was also charged with three additional charges of uttering forged bank documents, as well as three other charges of forgery of a valuable certificate.
Boodram is on $6 million bail while Arjoonsingh was granted $3.5 million bail. Despite repeated requests by attorneys to transfer those cases to the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court because the offences originated in that district, Ann-Bassaw refused after the prosecution indicated the investigation into the operation of the cruise ship business which Boodram managed were continuing.
Yesterday morning, Boodram was placed in handcuffs and escorted from a police vehicle at the holding bay of the courthouse. She was taken before Acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan who read two charges laid by PC Brian Joseph, of the police financial investigative unit.
The first alleged that on October 18, 2010, at San Fernando, Boodram disposed of $2,045,000 in cash, in whole or part, by purchasing a house and land at Lot D 2 Lazzari Lands, Palmiste, San Fernando, knowing or suspecting that it was proceeds derived from her having committed a specified offence to wit, the obtaining of the said sum in cash with intent to defraud and by virtue of a forged instrument, that is, a Wells Fargo Bank (based in the US) irrevocable standby letter of credit serial number NZR 614553, dated July 22, 2010, knowing same to be forged, in contravention of Section 10 (a) of the Forgery Act, Chapter 11.13.
The second charge Rambachan read to Boodram alleged that on September 17, 2010, she disposed of $629,042.45 in cash, in whole or in part, by purchasing motor vehicle registration number PCR 4200, an E-Class Mercedes Benz, knowing or suspecting that it was the proceeds derived from her having committed a specified offence to wit, the obtaining of the same sum in cash with intent to defraud and by virtue of a forged instrument, that is, a Wells Fargo Bank irrevocable standby letter of credit serial number NZR 614553, dated July 22, 2010, knowing same to be forged in contravention of Section 10 9a) of the Forgery Act Chapter 11.13.
Those two charges were laid under the Proceeds of Crime Act, Chapter 11:27. Rambachan then read three other charges to Boodram, the first of which alleged that on August 29, 2010, at First Citizens Bank (FCB), High Street, Siparia, with intent to defraud FCB, named or procured to be delivered, one Visa card, account No 4091-6015- 0013-3457, in the name of Vicky Boodram, issued on November 15, 2009, a credit facility of $15,000 by virtue of forged instruments, one from the Export Import Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, and two from Omni Recruitment Training Services in her name knowing same to be forged.
The third charge alleged that on August 28, 2007, at High Street, Siparia, Boodram did utter forged documents, a job letter, for Export Import Bank, contrary to Section 91 of the Forgery Act. Boodram is alleged to have also uttered two job letters in the name of Omni Recruitment Training Services.
Boodram was not called upon to plead yesterday and attorney Jason Jackson, who represented the businesswoman, told Rambachan the fresh charges arose from alleged transactions which gave rise to the 19 charges she is currently facing. He requested bail.
Police prosecutor PC Ramdath Phillip objected saying there was a need to trace Boodram for a criminal record, if any. Phillip said he wanted to secure a trace based on Boodram’s fingerprints. He added the police had a trace of the businesswoman, based only on her name, which indicated she had 19 pending charges.
Rambachan remanded Boodram into custody to reappear in the Siparia Magistrates’ Court in respect of the forgery charges. She is to reappear tomorrow before him on the purchasing of the land, house and Mercedes Benz charges.