Customs brokers slapped with over 20 more charges

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Fraud accused Customs broker Foston George
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By Latrishka Thomas

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The plot is continuing to thicken in the story where two Customs brokers are the protagonists.

More charges have been filed against 47-year-old Rowan Mathew of Judges Hill Estates and 46-year-old Foston George of Pares Village in relation to alleged scams against Customs where they are said to have acquired a large sum of money.

The two men were recently charged with three counts of cheating the public revenue, four counts of obtaining by false pretences, three counts of conspiracy to defraud, three counts of making a false declaration, six counts of electronic forgery, three counts of fraudulent conversion, and three counts of disposing of proceeds of crime, all in relation to offences believed to have been committed between January and August 2018.

They were further charged jointly with one count each of cheating the public revenue, conspiracy to defraud, making a false declaration, obtaining by false pretences, disposing of proceeds of crime, fraudulent conversion, and two counts each of electronic forgery.

Those offences were allegedly committed between December 15 and 19 2017.

The duo were arrested and charged over the weekend, but when they appeared in the St John’s Magistrate’s Court yesterday Magistrate Dexter Wason released them saying that the charges were yet to be filed with the court.

The defendants were told to return to court on January 5.

George and Matthew also have two other matters scheduled for that day.

In one matter, the men are charged alongside Customs officer Joesine Christian. The three are jointly charged with conspiracy to defraud in late July in relation to a November 2017 incident that occurred at Deep Water Harbour.

Christian is also charged with cheating the public revenue and corruption in public office.

The two brokers are facing additional charges of obtaining money by false pretences and making a false declaration.

Then in another case, Customs officer Jeanette Browne is implicated with the two men. In that case, the three are accused of conspiring to defraud and fraudulent conversion. Additionally, Matthew and George were also charged with obtaining by false pretences and making a false declaration to Customs in relation to this matter.

The three matters appear to be separate incidents in which the defendants are accused of defrauding different individuals through the Customs and Excise Division.

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