A 49-year-old resident of St Cuthbert’s Mission is now contemplating her next move after she reportedly purchased US$1,400 in counterfeit money.
The businesswoman told this publication that she paid over GYD$280,000 on Friday last to a man who pretended to have authentic United States (US) currency in his possession.
The victim, Vimmi Ramnarace explained to INews today that the incident occurred at around 14:30hrs.
She recalled that the perpetrator, who identified himself only as “Sunil”, called at her shop with a group of other men.
“A car came in here to the Mission and they come by the shop and one of the guy start calling the shop fuh some beers…He call and call and he account come up bout $10,000,” Ramnarace said.
She told this online publication that when it was time to clear the bill, the individual claimed he only had US currency in his possession.
“He said he don’t have any Guyana money…I seh I don’t really tek US…[but anyways] I took the money and give he back he change from US$100,” the businesswoman said.
As the afternoon went by, Ramnarace recalled that the group of men remained at her shop, and a conversation began between “Sunil” and her.
“He start talk with me and me seh me plan to go away next month. So he say he just come in from Long Island and he got some more money, if me want buy it. So me say yes because he said he giving me fuh $200 [per US dollar],” she explained.
As such, the woman said she handed over $280,000 to the suspect, who in turn gave her US$1,400.
Ramnarace said that after completing the transaction, “Sunil” asked her to cook something for him and his friends, informing her that they were going to drive around the village and come back.
However, after some time passed, the woman said she became suspicious.
“I start get worried like and I start think like if this is not good money and when my husband come home, me show he and he said is not good money,” she said.
Ramnarace said she immediately tried to contact “Sunil” on a mobile number he had left her, however, the person that answered claimed to be “Vishal” and said he had no knowledge of the transaction with her.
The middle aged woman further relayed that since it was already late in the afternoon, and Saturday last was a holiday, she had to wait until Monday to travel to Georgetown.
The businesswoman alleged that she visited a cambio first, and was informed that the US dollars in her possession were counterfeit. She was advised to report the matter to the Criminal Investigations Department at Eve Leary, where the matter is being investigated.
Efforts to make contact with the Crime Chief, Paul Williams, proved futile.
Ramnarace has been living at St Cuthbert’s Mission for the past 32 years, and has been an owner of a business for 10 years now. She says this is the first time something of this nature has happened to her.