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$50,000 bail for Canadian fraud accused

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Canadian Ryan Bridgelal, 23, is escorted from the San Fernando Magistrates Court on Monday after pleading not guilty to two charges of manufacturing and trafficking counterfeit bank cards. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

A Canadian citizen accused of manufacturing and trafficking counterfeit bank cards was granted $50,000 bail on Monday. Ryan Bridgelal, 23, who migrated some years ago, but returned to Trinidad last month, pleaded not guilty to the two fraud charges. He appeared before San Fernando Fifth Court Magistrate Rae Roopchan. Bridgelal was arrested at Railway Road West, Gandhi Village, Debe, on Friday and charged by WPC Janelle Lively of the San Fernando Fraud Squad.



The first charge alleged that he was in possession of four counterfeit bank cards for the purpose of trafficking. The second charge alleged that he was in possession of card-making equipment, 16 cards, a skimmer (a device used to obtain confidential data from bank cards) and a laptop used in manufacturing counterfeit cards. In asking for bail, attorney Renu Teekasingh said Bridgelal was a Canadian citizen, but he returned a month ago to stay permanently and has been living with his father at Gandhi Village.


She said Bridgelal has both Canadian and Trinidadian citizenship and has been working at a door manufacturing factory in San Fernando. She said he had no previous convictions or pending matters in the local courts and had been in custody since Friday. Police prosecutor Sgt Chanardath Jhilmit did not object for bail, but asked for certain conditions, including that Bridgelal should surrender his passport.


Teekasingh said Bridgelal only had a Canadian passport, which was seized by the police. The magistrate made an official order that Bridgelal must surrender his passport and report to the San Fernando Fraud Squad twice a week. Also granting a request by Teekasingh, the magistrate fixed a cash alternative to the $50,000 Clerk of the Peace approval bail, in the sum of $10,000. The matter was adjourned to March 28.


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