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Expat nabbed 5 years after stealing $21K, leaving

Magistrate's Court at John's Hole, Tortola

Magistrate’s Court at John’s Hole, Tortola

A native of the Commonwealth of Dominica who reportedly stole more than $20,000 from his employer before he left the British Virgin Islands has been hauled before the Magistrate’s Court.

Edmund Abel returned to the territory some five years after leaving, and was arrested this month.

He is charged with false accounting and theft.

The prosecution reported that Abel was employed to Tortola Express, where the offences were committed.

It is being alleged that the managing director of the business received company security footage showing that Abel had stolen cash from the establishment.

He reportedly observed the accused taking money from customers and entering the payment data into a computer that was not designated for the recording of funds received.

The managing director also allegedly  saw footage of Abel removing money from the company’s cash pan.

The court heard that the boss confronted him and he admitted to the theft of $21,974.

The managing director allowed him to sign an agreement, which stipulated that he would repay the stolen money in monthly installments.

It is further reported that Abel left the British Virgin Islands without paying any of the money.

The matter was then reported to police.

Abel returned to the territory recently under new employment arrangement.

Police met him in Road Town and took him into custody.

He reportedly confessed to falsifying documents and taking a ‘$10 or $20’ to buy food when he was employed at Tortola Express.

During his court appearance this month, Abel begged to be put on bail because he did not want to lose his new job.

He told the court that he still plans to repay the money he had stolen, adding that that was among the reasons he has returned to the jurisdiction.

“It wasn’t a thing where I wanted to run… I am asking you please, please [don’t remand me]. This is my first offence. I am not a criminal,” Abel said.

He continued: “I really going nowhere at all. I just make a stupid mistake and I would like the opportunity to make it right.”

Despite his plea for bail, both the prosecution and Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards agreed that Abel was a flight risk.

The magistrate subsequently remanded him into custody.

He is scheduled to return to court on February 27.

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