Two in custody for conspiracy to defraud

Charges involve cloned credit cards

Two Canadian nationals were remanded in custody after appearing in Summary Court on Monday for the charge of conspiracy to defraud.

Adam Mokdad, 21, first appeared in court on Thursday. He returned on Monday and was followed by Hakim Benamara, 25. Both men have Montreal addresses.

They are charged with conspiring with others unknown to defraud local retail banks by agreeing to use cloned credit cards to dishonestly withdraw cash. The offense allegedly occurred between Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

A press release from the police indicated that the Financial Crime Unit had received a report on Feb. 1, from a local bank regarding suspicious cards that had been retained by one of its Automatic Teller Machines. “Officers immediately initiated an operation which led to the arrests of two men at a local hotel where they were staying. A quantity of Starbucks gift cards and debit cards and a card reader were also recovered,” the release stated.

In court, defense attorney John Furniss represented Mokdad, but he told Magistrate Valdis Foldats that there might be a conflict in representing Benamara as well.

The magistrate asked him to assist the second defendant in filling out an application form for legal aid.

The magistrate also inquired whether the charge was a “Category A,” which would require an immediate transmittal to Grand Court. No clear answer was available, so both defendants were remanded in custody to return to Summary Court on Feb. 16.