Driver charged with selling bus without owner’s knowledge

-allegedly collected $300,000 for $3.1M vehicle

A man who was hired to operate a minibus was yesterday charged with fraud after he allegedly sold the vehicle for $300,000, without the knowledge of the owner.

Driver Patrick Watts, 24, a father of one of Friendship, East Bank Demerara, stood before Magistrate Judy Latchman, who read the charge to him.

The charge stated that between August 24 and September 11, 2017, Watts fraudulently converted the minibus, BTT 7088, which belonged to Elvis Smith, for his own use. The bus was valued at $3.1 million.

Patrick Watts

The court heard that Watts and Smith had an agreement where Watts would operate the vehicle and give the owner $7,000 per day. The prosecution said Watts honoured the agreement for a short while but things went sour and the owner could not make contact with him.

This prompted Smith to search for him and when contact was established he related to the owner that he sold the minibus to someone in Timehri for a fraction of its original cost. When the bus was found, several parts were missing and Smith made a report to the police.

After the prosecution had no objections, Watts, who pleaded not guilty, was granted $100,000 bail. He is to return to court on October 16.