Customs broker admits fraud, hands cheque to victim

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OBSERVER: Fraud-accused Customs broker Jairo Ephraim turned up to court yesterday with a cheque in hand and prepared to own up to his actions.

The Jennings man admitted before Justice Ann-Marie Smith that he had defrauded a man who trusted him to clear his vehicle through Customs.

The victim imported a car from Japan which arrived in July 2020 and procured the services of the defendant.

The complainant gave Ephraim EC$5,500 to carry out the process and, at one point in September, he also reportedly handed over to Ephraim the documents needed to clear the vehicle from the Deep Water Harbour.

After some time had passed, several calls from the complainant to the accused went unanswered.

It was after those failed attempts that the victim reported the matter to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

The defendant, who is in his late 30s, was taken into custody in October that year and allegedly admitted to having received the money.

It was for those reasons that he was charged with fraudulent conversion but he initially told the court that he was not guilty.

Ephraim was therefore scheduled to stand trial but he changed his mind and admitted guilt yesterday.

He even presented a cheque for EC$5,500 to the court which was handed to the complainant so that he could attempt to cash it and report back to the court.

Ephraim, however, could face additional penalties when he is sentenced on September 30.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. It has been alleged that lots of underhanded deals have been happening by brokers in cahoots with some Custom officers and even some Port workers for many years. Only a few will be brought to justice as everyone will not report the challenges for fear of retaliation.
    We will never know all the shiesty deals that occur.
    It’s good that he admitted.

    • Don’t worry, Comptroller of Custom Mr. Boddu is cleaning house one custom officer at the time. The click is so corrupt it’s not funny.

  2. When this is finished do an investigation into the chief himself. He’s on St.John’s development board- yes the chief. Guess who is the chairman- duncy head black Had … card dealer. Don’t tell me in 2022 no Antiguan is intelligent enough to run the custom. He to by virtue of his contract is GB yes man. Antigua corruption starts from the top dog in every government department, every statutory body and every Ministry bar none. From GB to CBH street workers.

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