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Wednesday 16 October 2019
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Identity theft: Penal woman’s name used by car-stealing ring

Driver's Permit Scam.
05/09/2019
PHOTO BY: MARVIN HAMILTON
Driver's Permit Scam. 05/09/2019 PHOTO BY: MARVIN HAMILTON

SHEBA S Baksh-Soondar of Penal wants to clear her name after a woman impersonated her and used a fake driving permit bearing her name,

The impersonator has been nabbed by the Arouca police in connection with a car -stealing ring.

Arouca police believe they have stumbled upon a major fraudulent ring involving activities at the Licensing Office. This comes after the arrest of the woman, who has been stealing vehicles under the guise of renting them and then selling them to unsuspecting buyers.

The fraud involves fake driving permits, false certified copies of ownership and other documents issued to “new owners” when doing the transfer.

Police said the woman was arrested on Wednesday during a sting operation at Grand Bazaar, Valsayn, after several reports of car theft by a female customer of car rental companies.

Similar reports were made by the “new owners” who had bought the cars after they were repossessed by financial institutions, on learning they were stolen property.

Driver's Permit Scam. 05/09/2019 PHOTO BY: MARVIN HAMILTON

The woman at the centre of the car racket has been using a fake DP bearing the name Sheba S Baksh-Soondar to swindle her victims.

She has refused to co-operate with the police and has not given them her real identity, sticking to her fake name. The suspect, who has legal representation, has also been wearing gloves during her detention and refused to be fingerprinted.

The real Baksh-Soondar said she is fearful for her life and those of her four children, after her name was called on a television crime show on August 2, identifying her as a fraudster.

Baksh-Soondar said the police and investigators from Car Search have turned up at her home in the last month looking for stolen property after victims produced the fake DP bearing her name.

Baksh-Soondar said the fake DP is an excellent counterfeit, though it has a few errors.

“The woman in the photograph does not look like me but the issue date, expiry date, date of birth, are all the same,” she said.

Baksh-Soondar said she wants to go public to clear her name, “because as soon as my children get a little older, I want to go to Hajj.”

Hajj is a sacred pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim dreams of making at least once in his or her lifetime.

She said she is also fearful that just as the police and Car Search staff were able to track her to her home, so too could the angry victims whom her impersonator conned.

“I don’t want my children growing up and having people thinking I am a crook.

“In fact, it was one of my children’s teachers who first alerted me that my name was being called on television in connection with a stolen vehicle.”

She reported it to the San Fernando police and Fraud Squad Division immediately, producing her receipts as verification.

She said there are similar reports against the woman in Port of Spain and San Fernando from people she duped.

A senior Fraud Squad officer told the Newsday, “Almost every week we have reports of fake DP and documents.

“The Commissioner of Transport is aware, he is a no-nonsense man. But getting the evidence to take action is difficult.”

Soondar-Baksh said, “Between August 2, when I was first alerted to now, there have been four reports of people she conned. I don’t know how many others are out there.

“I just want people to know it isn’t me. I am innocent. I have never seen that woman in my life.”

Cpls Ali and Edmund of the Arouca police are continuing investigation.

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