FIU and the police to charge two person for recent phishing scam
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- February 14, 2023
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The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Belize Police Department are zeroing in on two persons they believe played a key role in the recent phishing scam that targeted several banks and their customers. In the coming weeks, the suspects are expected to be charged for helping to facilitate the scam. Director of the FIU, Kent Clare, explained that while the FIU may not be able to completely stop the scam, they are working to recover the thousands of dollars that were lost by the victims.
Kent Clare, Director, Financial Intelligence Unit: “Cases like these you’re always finding there might be other victims and there might be other perpetrators. We have enough where I have indicated to my legal team and investigators there are at least two persons we expect to be charged in the next couple of weeks simply for facilitating. We would have warned in the past that if you have a notification of this kind of thing you have every reason to know that that money can’t be yours, if you are dealing with that money that is actually a part of the definition of money laundering. So there are a couple of persons. I will tell you our investigations also show that some of the money went over seas so there’s also some persons – that’s why I’m saying it’s gonna continue because there are parties who are operating and they will continue to operate. But there are two things one, we want to get back the monies that are here. We have worked with the banks to determine who has what and to get those back to the persons who own them and then to go after the persons who we feel are criminally liable. I don’t want to comment too much because an investigation like this it continues and we have to look at all angles, we have to not only look at the persons who actually were money mules and whose accounts the money was put into but we also ave to ask ourselves any viable investigation department has to ask itself to what extent doe this go ? What is the safety protocols within the banking system ? Although we are assured that those banks spend a lot of money to ensure that you have fail safe systems the fact is it’s human technology and it’s gonna be bypassed and there is also one thing you can never count out and that is the human spirit, the human mind, the proclivity to corruption. You can never never say no so we’re looking at everything.”
Clare further explained that the FIU is moving to establish a team of financial and technical professionals that will work with the police to target online scammers.
Kent Clare, Director, Financial Intelligence Unit: “That’s the magic involved in this because you have to be kind of as soon as we feel that we can apply our investigations team a high risk areas then something comes up and we have to be responsive. So I think recently what we decided to do we are developing a cadre of what you might call civilian investigators as well not just police officers, persons who are skilled in some competencies that you might otherwise not have, things that we’re trying to develop right here at this conference. And of course it’s very very useful to have the services of our foreign counterparts to help us trace where the money went. Let me tell you what the typology may be. There are always indications of persons who live overseas and persons who we have in trying to do our checks as the the identities of these persons clearly these are foreigners -”
Reporter: Countries. What ? Which countries ?
Kent Clare, Director, Financial Intelligence Unit: “Certainly we have seen the US being one in this most recent phase, in the past we would have seen Nigeria and also Eastern Europe and we have also seen monies deposited into areas in Central America.”