Fmr Colombian Army Major jailed for 10 years in Guyana for $2M GBTI Fraud

Freddy Riveria Vargas. [iNews' Photo]

Freddy Riveria Vargas. [iNews' Photo]
Freddy Riveria Vargas. [iNews’ Photo]
[] – A former Colombian Army Major has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment in Guyana, after admitting to stealing over $2 million from the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI).

Freddy Riveria Vargas was charged with 23 counts of simple larceny, where he initially pleaded not guilty but then changed his plea to guilty. Police Prosecutor, Kerry Bostwick informed the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court that the accused is a former Army Major of Colombia, who entered Guyana legally via Lethem on July 17, 2015.

The court heard that between July 18 and July 21, he used fake visa cards to make withdrawals from GBTI ATM machines at various locations. iNews understands that some of the fake cards were retained from the machine and Vargas was apprehended after the video footage was reviewed by the police.

He pleaded guilty to seven simple larceny charges before Magistrate Annette Singh where he was then sentenced to 11 months imprisonment. Additionally, Vargas then pleaded guilty to nine counts of similar charges before Magistrate Ann McLennan and was sentenced to a total of five years imprisonment.

This sentence will run concurrently with the 11 months imprisonment. Meanwhile, through an interpreter before Magistrate Judy Latchman, the 42-year-old man told the court that he was convinced by some friends to make the withdrawals.

He disclosed that the money was sent to England via Western Union and that another person from Venezuela was also involved in the scam. The former Army Major claims that 60 fake visa cards are at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), pointing out that the hackers who have the information sent it through an email.

However, the Investigating Rank indicated that 168 fake card were retrieved during the investigations. Magistrate Latchman, after considering the seriousness of the offence, said that the court needs to send a strong message that this sort of crime will not be tolerated.

She then sentenced him to five years imprisonment, which will run consecutively from his previous sentences, bringing the total to 10 years in jail.




  1. So RC what is so jocular about his sentence. Do you want to go to Columbia and do what he did and aee if they woukd be less harsh with you. GUYANESE are some of the most unpatriotic and bad mouthing people in the world. Try it RC go to Columbia and rob ATMs see if you would get a slap on the wrist. Try loving your country for a change.

  2. for us$10,000 this fool has given up his freedom for 10 long years in a foreign prison…….what ambition but then again someone will spring him from jail

  3. 10 years for ATM scam for A foreigner, I agree he must be punished, but the local thieves, murderer’s and rapist walk the street of Guyana. The law”s and the people enforcing the laws in Guyana are a bunch of jokers.

  4. A few years ago I met a Columbian Veterinrian doctor and there was something which he told which I’ll never forget; he said, “My country Columbia is known all around the world as a country dealing in narcotics, but never known for all the good people and things happening there.” Although he did a lot of work during the one weeek that he was here in Guyana, that doctor was only interviewed once on a TV news item. That was all.


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