|COP SQUEALS ON COPS |
By Nalinee Seelal Monday, April 28 2014
A female police officer who is facing over 100 charges of fraud and who is due to appear before a Port-of-Spain magistrate today spent four days in police custody giving key information to Fraud Squad officers which could lead to several police officers from the Police Finance Branch being charged for fraudulent offences.
Some civilians also employed at the Police Finance Branch could also face prosecution.
Newsday understands that the female officer who had been on the run after learning that warrants were issued for her arrest for allegedly defrauding the Police Service of over $400,000 between late 2012 and early 2014, returned to the country on Thursday morning on a Caribbean Airlines flight and was taken to the Fraud Squad office in Port-of-Spain.
Between Thursday and yesterday, the policewoman assisted investigators, pointing them in the direction of persons who allegedly assisted her in the criminal acts for which she has been charged.
Newsday also understands that some fraudulent offences which were never detected prior to the probe into the fraud involving the female officer, were revealed.
Now investigators expect to conduct a thorough audit at the Police Finance Branch based at the Police Administration Building, Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain.
Sources said civilian staff will also be interviewed by the Fraud Squad officers as part of the ongoing probe into the alleged discrepancies involving the fraudulent disbursement of funds to police officers.
At least one senior officer has already been pointed out by the WPC as being part of the scam to rip off the TT Police Service of the large sums of cash.
Newsday understands that Fraud Squad officers are to take possession of several vouchers and financial records to examine the contents to ascertain exactly what type of fraud has been taking place at the Police Finance Branch.
Yesterday president of the Police Social and Welfare Association Inspector Anand Ramesar said the general membership of the Police Service welcomed any enquiry that is designed to improve the confidence of the public in the Police Service. “The membership has made it sufficiently clear that due process is a must and it is always better for the Police Service to deal with these matters so that transparency could take place.”
It is alleged that the policewoman claimed she was suffering from cancer and produced false medical records to show that she was suffering from the dreaded illness.
She allegedly began applying for large sums of monies to offset her medical bills at a private medical institution in West Trinidad.
Fraud Squad officers who were tipped off about the alleged fraud began investigations and interviewed the doctor who claimed that he never provided such a medical report for the policewoman.
The policewoman reportedly fled to New York and then travelled to the United Kingdom until attempts were made to have her extradited back to Trinidad. She instead contacted officers of the Fraud Squad division and indicated she was willing to cooperate and would return home.