(ST LUCIA STAR) – The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) has charged two young men following investigations into a scam surrounding the sale of motor vehicles. At a press conference earlier today, acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), George Nicholas, said that the RSLPF is in receipt of several reports where a ring persons advertise motor vehicles for sale on Facebook.
“They lure prospective buyers to meet at certain locations where monies would be transferred from the prospective buyers to them. They would hand the prospective buyer a key and tell them that the vehicle can be collected in another location, only to find out there’s no vehicle,” Nicholas disclosed.
The RSLPF launched an investigation into the matter and since then 23-year-old Bryan Justin of La Panse has been arrested and charged with four counts of obtaining property by deception. Justin is currently on remand at the Bordelais Correctional Facility.
18-year-old Joshua Kalen Duncan Charles of Bois Patat, Castries has also been arrested and charged with three counts of obtaining property by deception. Nicholas said that on the first count, the 18-year-old was bailed in the sum of $3000 cash or suitable surety and has to report to Central Police Station three days a week. A bail hearing is pending for the other two counts.
-VERIFY THE VEHICLE’S AUTHENTICITY! Ask for copies of ownership documents to be forwarded via email, to ensure that the vehicle belongs to the advertiser. Insist that photo identification documents, proving the advertiser is indeed the same individual as reflected on the documents, are also included.
-When arranging to view a motor vehicle, insist that it is taken directly to a certified institution and not to a remote location for your own viewing.
-Never agree to meet an unknown individual alone; unexpected company may dissuade a thief.
-Never agree to meet in a secluded area, especially one you are not familiar with. Legitimate sellers will not fear a public meeting. Suggest meeting at or near a Police Station for your safety!
-Avoid being in possession of cash; cheques may be obtained from financial institutions for payment. If you fall victim to robbery, you may quickly cancel the cheque, before it is cashed. If cash payments are your only option, ensure that you are accompanied and conduct the transaction in a public area.
-When in doubt, call the police! If a transaction does not seem legitimate, notify the police immediately!