Beware of con artists
POLICE HAVE ISSUED a warning to residents to watch out for con artists and fraudsters.
This followed the arrest of yet another individual this year for possession of a donation sheet to illegally solicit funds.
Police public relations officer Inspector David Welch said yesterday that a lot more cases involving such acts had been brought to their attention in the last several months, though he could not give the number of cases involved.
The police caution came a day after they were alerted that two men were witnessed soliciting funds for two-month-old heart patient Dakarai Shorey, whose parents publicly appealed for assistance last month for help in raising $300 000 so he could get needed operations to correct cardiac defects.
“What we are seeing are more people trying to fraudulently solicit funds on behalf of bona fide organisations and persons in need. We caution and advise persons that when approached they should take all precautions and scrutinise the form presented,” Welch added.
He further cautioned the public that if the donation sheet presented was not an original, or if they were in doubt about the authenticity of the cause, they should contact the police so that the person presenting it could be scrutinised.
“Any person soliciting such funds illegally is committing an offence, and once this has been reported and the person identified, the appropriate charge will be brought against them,” said Welch.
The inspector said police were particularly concerned about information received suggesting that adults were recruiting children to do the soliciting. He said this was a development they would be investigating and warned that those caught exploiting children in this way would feel the full force of the law.
On Wednesday, Shivnarrane Walcott of Gills Road, St Michael, was arrested and charged with having a donation sheet for the use in the course of, or in connection with, a criminal deception.
According to the police report, Walcott was seen on Victoria Street, The City, with the sheet and the matter was reported. He was approached by police officers and ran.
He was later apprehended. (SP)