Teenager caught with fake cash

A teenager caught with counterfeit Bermuda dollar bills was given a conditional discharge so he can take a training programme overseas.

Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday that Kyari Flood was the pillion passenger of a motorcycle that was stopped by police on The Glebe Road.

Officers searched Flood and found 29 Bermuda $50 bills hidden in his crotch.

All of the bills had identical serial numbers.

Flood, 18, of Devonshire, told police he found the bills in bushes and took them in the knowledge they were fake.

He pleaded guilty to possession of $1,450 in forged $50 bills on August 22.

Alan Richards, for the Crown, said Flood had been convicted of other offences and was on probation when the incident took place.

But he added that Flood was scheduled to travel to Britain for a trade programme, and Court Services supported an extension of his probation overseas so he could take the course.

Mr Richards said: “There are two ways the court could look at this.

“It could say he has had his final chance and is in breach of probation arraignments in place at the moment.

“Alternatively, the court could take the view that Flood’s continued presence in Bermuda isn’t working for him and isn’t working for Bermuda.”

Mr Richards added that if Flood breached probation while in Britain, he would not hesitate to extradite him back to Bermuda.

Flood told the court he wanted another chance and a fresh start.

He said: “I’m 18. I have been in jail too many times.”

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo agreed to give Flood a conditional discharge, on condition he stuck to the terms of his probation.

Mr Tokunbo warned Flood: “It’s not just we open your cage and let you fly off. You are not going to make a new life and be free overseas.

“You are still under supervision. You know if you screw up, the law can pull you back.”

The Bermuda Police Service warned the public to be on the watch for counterfeit Bermuda $50 bills in circulation on the island.

A police spokesman said all of the notes have the serial numbers A/I 509979 or A/I 441162.

The spokesman added: “This week alone — after the arrest of two men — police have seized 35 fake Bermuda $50 notes, which are easily identifiable by their low quality and having the ‘Longtail’ portrait on both sides of the note.

“Additionally, each note is poorly cut and contains none of the official security features, such as the hibiscus watermark or metallic thread.”

Employees are asked to hold on to any fake money detected during a transaction, note the description of the person who tendered it and contact police immediately.

The spokesman added: “Members of the public should take a few seconds to examine any money they may receive, especially the larger denominations.

“Persons who may have unknowingly received counterfeit currency are encouraged to contact the main police telephone number 295-0011 at the earliest opportunity to report the matter.

“Alternatively, if you are aware of suspicious circumstances regarding suspected counterfeit currency and wish to report it anonymously, please call the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477.”

The spokesman warned that it is a criminal offence to pass on, possess or reproduce counterfeit currency.

Such offences can carry a five-year prison sentence.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

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