Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 6th 2017 Contents A4 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 6, 2017
stalls bank fraud cases
The case against two Bulgarian nationals
charged with bank card fraud had to be deferred
because of an absence of a translator in court.
The two foreigners appeared before a Port-of-Spain
magistrate yesterday, less than a week after two other
Bulgarian nationals were ar-
rested and charged with similar
Daniel Nedelchev and Emil
Mihalev appeared before Mag-
istrate Christine Charles in the
Court charged with tamper-
ing with a Republic Bank Ltd
(RBL) automatic banking ma-
chine (ABM) in Maraval and
for possession card skimming
The duo's court appearance
came less than a week after
Dimitar Georgiev, 47, and Ton-
cho Tonchev, 22, appeared in
court on similar charges arising
out of a separate incident last
week at another RBL ABM
at Piarco Plaza.
ed not guilty to the charges and were
remanded into custody as their Interpol
criminal tracing was not available.
However, their attorney Stacy Mc Sween said that
because of the language barrier she was unable to
explain the charges to her clients, who may eventually
want to change their pleas.
During the hearing before Charles, officers of
the Fraud Squad brought a translator from St
Lucia who was hired to work on Georgiev and
The translator, Ruth Jones, was in court
for that hearing as there was a mix-up with
the date for Georgiev and Tonchev's reap-
Police prosecutors informed Charles that
the translator would not be able to be present
for Georgiev and Tonchev's hearing which was
scheduled before another magistrate as she was
due to return to St Lucia yesterday evening.
Prosecutors also expressed difficulties in hiring
Jones for future hearings of the case as they said that
there was no procedure for retaining a translator from
abroad and the Fraud Squad was bearing the cost with
a limited budget.
While Jones offered to stay in Trinidad to facilitate
both cases, police prosecutors said she could not as she
had a return flight booked for yesterday evening and that
the police could not provide extended accommodation.
Jones' unavailability is almost certain to cause the
adjournment of Georgiev and Tonchev's case as mag-
istrate Cheron Raphael refused to even read the charges
against them without a translator present during their
appearance in court last week.
Georgiev and Tonchev expressed a similar desire to
plead guilty to the charges but Raphael said she could
not accept the plea without a translator being
Charles said that she would make enquires
with the court's administrative staff to deter-
mine if a translator could be sourced from the
University of the West Indies.
"There is no guarantee that the court would
be successful but we must live in hope," Charles
Nedelchev and Mihalev are accused of maliciously
causing $2,092.50 damage to RBL machine in Maraval,
stealing a keypad from the machine valued at $1,575
and for being in possession of bank card skimming
equipment. The incident allegedly occurred on June
25 and the men were arrested the following day at a
guest house in St Ann's.
Charles adjourned the case to next Monday to give
Mc Sween sufficient time to get detailed instructions
from her clients and for the police to produce the crim-
inal background tracing.
Two more Bulgarians charged
$15,000 bail for
Rayad Mohammed, the man who allegedly is-
sued a threat againstthewifeand daughter of Prime
Minister Dr Keith Rowley, via a Facebook post has
pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge.
Mohammed who celebrates his 25th birthday todaywas
granted $15,000 bail when he appeared before Siparia
Second Court Magistrate Ava Vandenberg-Bailey yes-
arrested on Saturday
night one day after
the post appeared on
his Facebook page.
He spent three
days in police cus-
tody before being
night following in-
structions from the
Director of Public
He was released
later that night
after being granted police bail in the sum of
$500. The charge alleged that on June 30,
at Belle View Industrial Estate, South Oro-
pouche he allegedly senta grossly offensive
message by telephone.
Mohammed allegedly wrote: "Someone
should find Rowley daughter and wife and
slit their throats n rape them." The post was
made two days aftergruesome double mur-
der of Hafeeza Mohammed, 56, and Videsh
Subar, 13, in Malabar. Both victims were tied
up and had their throats slit during a home
Mohammed subsequently closed his Face-
book account and issued an apology for the
His attorney, Hasine Shaikh, told reporters
after the case: "He is not guilty at the end of the day and
sohe was advised to plead not guilty. This is a situation
where a person rose up against what is happening in our
country and he is being penalised for it. At the end of the
day there are a number of persons on social media and
on television and radio programmes who have a lot of
things to say and the reality is it a lot of emotion.
"And I think we have been distracted and it has been
a diversion of the fact that there are innocent people
being killed and there is something that needs to be
done about it."
Mohammed was charged byCplDarwinBadree of the
Fraud Squad, contrary to Sec 106 (a) of the Summary
Offences Act. The offence carries a maximum fine of
$200 or imprisonment for a month.
Prosecutor Sgt Starr Jacob said a fingerprint trace was
not done because the police computerised system was
not working. However, she said a name check did not
show up any convictions or pending matters.Jacob said
Mohammed received police bail on Tuesday night but
requested that it be regularised.
Mohammed's attorney Hasine Shaikh said up until
Friday her client worked as a Class 5 driver but the com-
pany has since told him they "will reach out to
him after the matter is settled."
She said he lived with his parents at Rio Claro
and had a clean record. The prosecutor presented
the defence withdisclosure, comprisingten items,
but she said there was one outstanding document,
a report from the T&T Guardian newspaper.
Mohammed's mother offered to be his surety
for bail butthe prosecutor objected because the mother
owned the phone which Mohammed allegedly used to
commit the offence.
Instead, his father was approved as surety. The mag-
istrate adjourned the matter to August 2, for a case man-
agement hearing to decide the way forward. Shaikhsaid
she will indicate on that day whether they will be calling
witnesses. The prosecution said they intend to callfive
witnesses, including Cpl Vinelle Dassarath who was
present in court. Shaikh said attorney Wayne Sturge
was also in the matter.
Rayad Mohammed accompanied
by his attorney Hasine Shaikh at
the Siparia Magistrates Court
yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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