$4.5 Million In Financial Crimes Last Year

Friday 27th, September 2013 / 09:15 Published by

The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) last year dealt with 450 fraud complaints involving $4.5 million worth of assets, it was revealed yesterday, as it called upon Bahamians to stop viewing this as a “victimless crime”.

Detective Sergeant Ian McQueen, of the Force’s business and technology crime unit, said this perception was starting to change, with the courts handing out sentences up to 12 years long for those convicted of fraud.

Addressing a Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) seminar, Sergeant McQueen said some 330 persons were either arrested or charged with fraud-related offences in 2012.

“That’s one of the things we need to change, the community mindset when it comes to perceptions of fraud and financial crimes. A lot of people think fraud is a victimless crime,” Sergeant McQueen added.

Despite some $4.5 million in funds and assets being involved in fraud-related cases investigated by the Force last year, the officer said Bahamian companies all too-often allowed dishonest employees to pay back what they had stolen rather than go to court.

This was often to avoid embarrassment or reputational damage on the company’s part, but Sergeant McQueen said this allowed dishonest workers to effectively ‘bounce around’ from employer to employer, committing the same offences wherever they went.

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