HAMILTON, Bermuda – A High Court judge has sentenced two Puerto Rican nationals to 16 months in jail each after they were caught attempting to leave Bermuda with cash and equipment to make fake credit cards.
Juan De La Cruz Carvajal, 21, and Avik Kavil Abreu Rivera, 24, admitted to charges of conspiracy to steal and attempted money laundering when they appeared in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Puisne Judge Craig Attridge said the men were caught with more than US$4 000 in cash as they tried to leave the island, but it was likely they had attempted to steal more.
“The intent and expectation of the defendants must have been to make a significant gain. The court agrees that the increasing prevalence of offences of this nature in recent times undermines the financial integrity of the island by increasing the cost of legitimate financial activity, making victims of us all,” Justice Attridge said.
The High Court heard that Carvajal and Rivera were stopped by US Customs as they attempted to leave the island on January 19.
Officers searched their bags and discovered more than $4 000 in mixed currency, along with a machine designed to print fake credit and debit cards. Customs officials also searched a laptop in their possession and found a programme set up to use the card machine.
The prosecutor, Allan Richards, said that evidence suggested the pair had attempted several unsuccessful transactions and they had tried to steal more money than they had obtained.
Richards added that this type of theft was on the rise in Bermuda, with multiple cases before the courts this year alone. But he said both defendants admitted their culpability at the earliest reasonable opportunity and were entitled to a discount on their sentence. (CMC)