Jamaica: Three remanded over $100-m ABM fraud

An image of the new NCB centre in Fairview, Montego Bay

(Jamaica Observer) The bail application that was scheduled for three St Ann residents accused of a $100-million fraud at National Commercial Bank (NCB) was cancelled yesterday in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court after it was disclosed that more charges are to be laid against the trio.

The accused trio — 20-year-old Romane Strachan, a technician of Hinds Town; 32-year-old Andre Harvey, businessman of Chalky Hill; and 26-year-old Kever Calbert, unemployed of Brown’s Town — were subsequently remanded and are scheduled to return to court on January 15 of next year.

All three are charged with conspiracy to defraud. In addition, Strachan and Harvey are charged with unauthorised interception of computer function, while Calbert was charged with two counts of unauthorised access to computer data.

The allegations before the court are that on November 28 police personnel in Hanover received information that ‘suspicious-looking’ men were seen in the Green Island area tampering with an NCB automated banking machine (ABM).

The cops proceeded to the area where the three were reportedly seen in the vicinity of the ABM and were taken into custody.

On the same day, the police contacted NCB and made enquiries. Surveillance footage that was subsequently obtained reportedly showed Strachan affixing a skimming/copying device to the ABM where he was arrested.

Following investigations, all three were charged with conspiracy to defraud.

Following further investigations, Harvey was charged in relation to an incident in December 2017.

It is alleged that on December 16 about 1:15 am, an NCB customer, while using an ABM at a gas station at Gore Terrace in St Andrew, noticed a suspicious-looking device attached to the bank card.

The device was reportedly retrieved and taken to NCB representative who confirmed that it was a skimming device used to copy and capture the magnetic strip information stored on the back of credit and debit cards.

Surveillance footage subsequently obtained from the ABM reportedly showed the accused affixing the card- skimming/copying device to the ABM about 12:17 am on the same day.

In respect to Calbert, it is alleged that surveillance footage reportedly showed him withdrawing $90,000 from an NCB ABM in Liguanea, St Andrew, on September 13 this year. The footage was retrieved after a customer reported that several unauthorised transactions were made against his account.

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