TTPS inaugurates Fraud Squad office in Tobago

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TTPS inaugurates Fraud Squad office in Tobago

Citizens, as well as officers of the Fraud Squad, are set to benefit from fewer delays and more resources for the reporting and investigation of fraudulent activities in the Tobago Division, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) says.

This was revealed on March 28th by Assistant Commissioner of Police, White Collar Crime Division (WCCD), Wendell Lucas, as the TTPS launched the Tobago Fraud Squad Office at the Shirvan Road Police Station.

The Tobago Fraud Squad Office, the first of its kind on the island and in the TTPS’ history, can be contacted via email at [email protected] or via telephone at 612-2470 Ext 14139.

It is currently serviced by Corporal (Ag.) Jamila Joseph Francis and WPC Donna Bunbury.
According to ACP Lucas, the officers of the Tobago Division will also stand to further benefit from the expertise and cross-training of the Fraud Squad in various reports on the island which have some ingredients of white-collar crime.

He said, “What we can expect in the near future is a meaningful impact in investigations into reports of serious fraud, corrupt public officials, money laundering, terrorist financing and unexplained wealth, which are few of the targets of the WCCD.”

The WCCD also comprises the Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau and the Financial Investigations Bureau, which the ACP said, would soon be joining the Fraud Squad in the Tobago Division.

The ACP explained, “It is not only about the ability to build the investigative capacity on the island but to have the officers in the Tobago Division be exposed to more technical investigations, and so, strengthen their ability to investigate varied types of crimes.”

Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent, Fraud Squad, Arlet Groome, who has been the pioneering brainchild of the establishment of the Tobago arm, said the office will foster a symbiotic relationship with the TTPS and wider community, particularly victims.

Snr Supt Groome said, “The Tobago office is more cost-effective when considering the fact of travel between the islands and providing food and accommodation for officers on multiple occasions. It also boosts efficiency in conducting and completing enquiries that impact Tobago as there are now dedicated officers to do so.”

“Our members are delighted to offer services to the people of Tobago. We see it as an improvement in the deployment of manpower to effectively deal with reports of fraud. Through enhanced community partnerships, we intend to raise awareness of fraud typologies which can positively impact crime prevention and reduction while impacting public trust and confidence through the professional execution of our duties,” he stressed.

This is the second fraud office to be launched by the TTPS in six months, the first being the Fraud Squad East Office at the Sangre Grande Police Station on October 13th, 2022.
The TTPS says it continues to have a multi-pronged approach to monitoring and a multilayer strategy to introduce impactful measures geared toward tackling and dismantling financial sources of crimes within the country.