$22M returned to 'scheme' operator, CoP launches investigation
Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, has launched a high-level investigation to determine who decided to return more than $22 million that was seized from a house on Kathleen Warner Drive, Phase I, La Horquetta, yesterday.
The money was seized by officers of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) who executed a search warrant at a house where it was alleged that persons were operating a Pyramid Scheme. The money was kept at a police station.
Griffith said preliminary investigations show that the money was handed back to the operator of the scheme this morning without his or his deputies' knowledge.
He said it’s very suspicious that $22 million in cash was seized and within hours, that money was checked and a decision made to give it back without the input of the Financial Intelligence Bureau (FIB) of the TTPS.
Griffith said the investigation would determine if any criminal or disciplinary action is to be taken against any police officers.
The commissioner said the money was handed back without a proper investigation to determine whether any of it was counterfeit, which would involve the services of external forensic personnel. He added that no proper investigation was conducted to determine the source of these funds, or whether the person or persons involved had committed any criminal acts.
Griffith said he is aware that there is a concern that a number of persons invested their hard-earned money, hoping to cash in on this alleged Pyramid Scheme.
He gave the assurance that once these persons can prove that their money was legitimate, the TTPS will ensure that their money is returned to them in the shortest possible time.