Black money con man seized

| 08/06/2011

(CNS): Officers from the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit  are seeking possible victims of a ‘black money scam’ following the arrest in the early hours of this morning of a 47-year-old man from Guyana. The man who is currently in custody is suspected of attempting to con people into buying counterfeit cash as a result of paraphernalia recovered during a drug task force operation on Seven Mile Beach at around 4am on Wednesday. The seizure has led officers to suspect that the con man has already lured victims to the money washing scam, which involves convincing victims that they have genuine money paper that can be turned into cash via a special chemical process

FCU officers said today that they are familiar with this type of crime and it is not the first time people have been conned in Cayman into believing the scammers in this type of crime.

The raid took place at the Treasure Island Resort, where police arrested the suspect scammer for possession of counterfeit currency, and seized paper, specialist dyes, bleaching agents and blotting paper.

Detective Sergeant Michael Montaque of the FCU appealed for anyone who has information about this particular scam or who may have fallen victim and agreed to give the man money to come forward. “The suspect has only been on Island for a few days. It’s important that if anyone has been approached by him, or has parted with any cash that they contact us right away.”

Explaining how a black money scam works, Montague said victims are sucked into believing that the scammer has a block of genuine bank note paper, and through the use of ‘special’ dies and chemicals that are used in the real production of cash, the money paper can be converted into real currency. The idea of the con is to persuade the victim, through a false demonstration, in which the scammers switch the scam paper money to the real thing, to pay a set fee of several thousand dollars to clean a full block of the "money" paper, which could be one hundred $100 bills that would be given to the victim.

The con artist takes the fee, then usually asks for a few days to clean all the money, which is generally when they make their escape without ever delivering the “cleaned” fake money to the victim but making off with the victim’s real money.

Montaque said that the FCU secured a conviction for the crime in 2004 and has seen evidence of the scam, which they say is relatively common, on a number of other occasions.

As a result of the items seized from this latest suspect scammer, the financial cop said he believes some people have already been sucked into the crime and they need those people to come forward as soon as possible to assist with the enquiry.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Financial Crime Unit on 949-7897.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Would that our police had the same level of success in apprehending our violent criminals. We are under seige at the present time, yet the police do not appear to be at all effectual. Time for a redesign of our police structure/model?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if 99.9% of the unsolved crimes happening here are not as a result of imports

    • The Beaver says:

      Are you calling the homegrown talent on Island too dumb to be capable of getting away with crime?  Just asking…  The Beaver

  3. Anonymous says:

    There are no "victims" in this case, only partners in crime.

  4. Jacky boatside from oldbush says:

    As if crime is not bad enough now, we are now attracting and importing it. well their goes McKeeva’s population expansion program 100,000 people 100,000 police I want my female officer from Sweden or Colombia and beautiful Mac Thanx

  5. Caymanian Boat Captain says:

    It would be interesting to see if anyone does come forward and assist the police with their enquiries, if they did come in contact with this crook and passed legitimate money to him. When last did you give a person $500 and was told that you would get specifically $10,000 cash in return, made up in real $100.00 bills from someone in a hotel room who probably looks foreign and speaks with an accent ?? I can't bame the police for seeking out individuals who may have passed legitimate money to this crook and be at loss, to lay some additional charges on him. However, it should be stated to the media in seeking these possible individuals, that they would not be "tied up" as possible participants in "aiding and abeting" the commission of an offence. Is this not a legitimate concern that should have been addressed by the police, before the media ran this story ??


    • Anonymous says:

      Lock them all up. The con artist and the conee. The conee has a dishonest intention just like a burglar, a thief, a fraudster or any other criminal. People work for what they have not seek dishonest shortcuts to riches. If a con artist comes to you and pretend to show you a way to make money without working for it you should chase him away and call the police on him.I don't care if you are a vulernable housewife or some smart young teenager looking to make it big and buy some splashy car and blings and name brand clothing. Dishonesty is dishonesty whether you are local or foreign.

  6. Anymous says:

    Every thing of this nature that happens in Cayman I blame the Customs and immigration department at the airport.  These people are only bent on searching the few little clothes that Caymanians buy for their children and do not thoroughly search the foreigners.  They let them pass with guns, money making machines and all sorts of things.  What a useless set we have at that airport.  But they can dig Caymanians down and take away their children clothes and toys.

    • Anonymous says:

      that's really odd.  I thought they targeted expats and turned a blind eye on their own.  Maybe we're both wrong/right

    • Anonymous says:

      Frankly I think it is purely random.  It is whomever has the biggest looking bags and the most expensive looking (new) clothes.  Aside from that, if people with large bags and expensive looking (new) clothes come through and don't get searched, it is either they know the person or can't be bothered.

      Does that sound more like it?

  7. Rorschach says:

    C'mon, man…what IDIOT would actually go to the police and say they were conned??  That would be like admitting they were trying to be dishonest…are the police that stupid???

    • I miss Marius says:

      Stupid is as stupid does.  Anyone silly enough to fall for a stupid con would be silly enough to then admit it to the police (perhaps thinking they will then get their money back).

  8. Anonymous says:

    Anyone that fell for this scam are also counterfeiters and therefore are criminals, possibly facing charges of their own. Coming forward would be even stupider than falling for the scam in the first place.

  9. Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

    Anyone fool enough to fall for this scam, deserve what they get and infact should be locked up with the scam-artist!

  10. Anonymous says:

    should have let him do his work for a few days, then arrested everybody.