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Food cards stolen

By NALINEE SEELAL Thursday, April 24 2014

OVER 200 Food Cards valued at more than $300,000 were stolen from a safe at the Ministry of the People’s St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain office sometime on Tuesday night.

According to reports, at about 4 pm on Tuesday, regional co-ordinator at the Ministry, Desiree Jones-John, secured her office and went home for the day.

She returned at about 7 am yesterday and discovered the door to the office open and a safe tampered with. On checking she discovered a quantity of Food Cards missing. A report was made to the Port-of-Spain CID and a party of officers led by Ag ASP Ajith Persad and including Inspector Rawle Ramdeo and PC Purcell as well as finger print experts visited the scene. It remains unclear how entry was gained by the intruders. However, the area was dusted for prints. Newsday understands there are no security cameras in the building which could be useful to the investigation.

Several employees, including security guards, were questioned yesterday by the team of officers.

Newsday understands that all investigations so far point to an inside job. However, officers are certain of making a breakthrough in their investigation.

The cards were registered to First Citizens Bank and yesterday the Communications Manager in the Ministry of the People, Dzifa Job, confirmed that there was in fact a break-in and larceny at the Ministry. She said the bank was working closely with the police to make a breakthrough in the investigation.

“We are assisting the police in their investigations,” was all Job was willing to say. Newsday understands that the bank’s role in this investigation is to detect if anyone attempts to use the cards. However, attempts were being made yesterday to deactivate all of the stolen cards.

Efforts by Newsday to reach Minister of the People and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for comment on the break-in at the Ministry, proved futile. Also yesterday, police sources called on members of the public to desist from purchasing the cards from anyone, because it is an offence to purchase stolen property.

Persons who do so, can be charged for obtaining stolen goods and would be liable to a fine or imprisonment which falls under the Larceny Act chapter 11:12.

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