Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 28th 2017 Contents A8 news
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, June 28, 2017
with bank card
A magistrate was yesterday forced to post-
pone the court appearance of two men from
Bulgaria accused of bank card skimming due
to the unavailability of a translator.
Dimitar Georgiev, a 47-year-old fisherman, and
Toncho Tonchev, a 22-year-old student, appeared
before Magistrate Cheron Raphael in the Port-
of-Spain Magistrate's Court charged with three
However, within minutes of them being brought
to court, Raphael was forced to remand them into
custody after police prosecutors said that there
were no Bulgarian translators available locally to
assist in the case.
Prosecutors said they were able to contact one in
St Lucia, but it would take time for arrangements
to be made for him to arrive in Trinidad.
As she was adjourning the case to facilitate the
translator, Georgiev indicated that he was willing
to plead guilty to the charges and face sentence,
so he could return home to his family as quickly
"I am guilty and I want to say sorry," Georgiev,
a fisherman, said.
His request was rejected Raphael, who said she
could not accept a plea unless she was sure that he
fully understood the charges brought against him.
"You must understand before you plead guilty.
The court must err on the side of caution and pro-
tect its processes," Raphael said.
Tonchev spoke only to say "Good Morning" to
Raphael and police officers as he was being led
into courtroom in handcuffs and stood silently
throughout the rest of the hearing.
The men were arrested last Friday by officers of
the Arouca CID, who were responding to reports
that the two were tampering with a Republic Bank
automated teller machine (ATM) at Piarco Plaza
They were charged with possession of card mak-
ing and skimming equipment under the Electronic
Transfer of Funds Act and for malicious damage
of the bank's equipment.
During their court appearance yesterday, Rapa-
hel inquired if the duo were in the country illegally.
WPC Shelly Plante from the Fraud Squad, who
charged them, said that they had entered the coun-
try legally and were due to return home yesterday.
Raphael instructed Plante to contact the Im-
migration Division to issue them with detention
orders as they would be overstaying their time
while they are on remand over the next week.
They were not represented by an attorney and
Raphael indicated that she would appoint one
during the next hearing.
The men are expected to reappear in court next
Cops lift disabled man held
with cocaine into court
With no wheelchair access to the San Fer-
nando Magistrates Court, double leg amputee
Randolph Scott had to be lifted on wheelchair
by police officers up a flight a steps to the
court to answer a charge of cocaine posses-
When his name was called, his daughter Kamal-
itah Nurse, told Senior Magistrate Cherril-Anne
Antoine that her father was unable to come up
the stairs because he had no legs.
"I don't know how he is going to reach upstairs,"
his daughter lamented.
With no way to get Scott, 60, to the court, three
police officers had to lift the wheelchair with him
on it, up the steps. Scott then wheeled himself
into the First Court. This spectacle spurred on
complaints from onlookers who questioned why
there were no facilities for disabled people.
As Scott entered the court he wasted no time
as he anxiously indicated that he wanted to plead
guilty, even before the charge was read to him.
Scott was arrested on Friday night after PC
Wayne Antoine, of the Southern Division Task
Force, searched his home and found 4.5 grammes
of cocaine in a plastic bag in Scott's pants pocket.
Scott admitted many years ago he had con-
victions for marijuana trafficking, possession of
ammunition and cocaine possession.
He said he lost his legs in 2004 due to diabetes.
His left leg has been amputated from below the
knee and his right leg from the hip. Scott said
he used to work at Nutrimix, but now receives
Scott said he used cocaine as a way of easing
the pain since conventional medication does not
work. "A relief from stress. My foot is give me
pain," said Scott.
Given the highly addictive and dangerous nature
of the drug, the magistrate imposed a fine $1,000
fine, but told him she will give him a lengthy time
to pay the money.
However, Scott said he had the money to pay
When Scott was leaving the court, he was heard
complaining, "They bring people to court and just
imagine they have to tote me upstairs. It have no
place for disabled people."
Randolph Scott is escorted outof the San Fernando , Magistrates Court
yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
No wheelchair access in building...
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