A charge alleged that last Wednesday, the accused was found at Arouca in possession of card-making equipment with intent to be used in the manufacture of counterfeit cards in contravention of Section 17 of the Electronic Transfer of Funds Crime Act 2000.
The penalty for this offence is imprisonment for five years and a $50,000 fine.
The second charge, read by the magistrate, alleged that on the same date, the man was found at Trincity Mall, Trincity, “trafficking” counterfeit cards in contravention of Section 16(2) of the Act. This offence also carries a penalty of five years prison and a $50,000 fine.
“No tengo nadie,” the accused said in court, pleading with the interpreter to tell the magistrate that he had nobody, no ties to Trinidad and Tobago and was afraid.
“He says he is frightened because he did not think he did anything wrong,” the interpreter said. The accused said he was a “visitor” and on Monday was supposed to board a flight out of Trinidad and Tobago.
It was a date he would not keep, instead appearing in the prisoner’s dock of the court, casually dressed in a blue t-shirt and jeans.
The court heard how the accused was staying at Dean’s Apartments at 52 Eastern Main Road in Arouca.
Charles asked whether Legal Aid provisions applied to foreigners. A lawyer at the Bar – Collin Partap (in court for another matter) – noted Legal Aid was governed by qualification criteria which made the accused unlikely to qualify.
Charles later denied bail, saying Marsical had no connections locally and is not a citizen. She advised him of his right to apply to a judge in chambers for bail. The cases were transferred to the Arima Magistrates’ Court where the accused is to return today. Prosecutors, who said an attempt was made to contact the Ecuadorian Consulate at Barbados last Wednesday, were directed to try to reach the consulate again.