News

Businessman held for alleged fleecing

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, February 07, 2013    

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THE New Kingston business-man accused of fleecing millions of dollars from scores of unsuspecting motor vehicle customers was yesterday held by the police in a sting operation.

Head of the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID) Senior Superintendent Clifford Chambers said the accused, Horace Haughton, who was on the run for the past three weeks, was held at a Kingston car mart while carrying out a transaction. He has been charged with money laundering, obtaining money by false pretence and conspiracy to defraud, the police said.

"Police, acting on information, went to a location off Molynes Road where they held the suspect while he was in the process of conducting a transaction," said SSP Chambers.

"I am not sure how the police were informed that he was at the location, but while there a police team came to the location where they apprehended him and led him off in handcuffs," said the source at the car mart. Haughton, the source said, went to the car mart about 2:30 pm.

Detectives from OCID, in January, listed Haughton, also known as 'Omer Haughton', 'Dean Haughton' and 'Dr Garcia Enriques Perez' as a person of interest.

The police, in a release, said Haughton allegedly fleeced more than $9 million from individuals under the pretence that he could provide motor vehicles for them on hire purchase if they provide an upfront processing fee of $70,000.

Individuals, who reportedly made downpayments and did not receive their vehicles, then made reports to the police who subsequently launched a probe.

Police said Haughton was held and released in early January by the police after they collected statements from several persons who had gone to his businessplace to request refunds after becoming impatient when the vehicles, allegedly promised, were not forthcoming. Among those allegedly fleeced were doctors, members of the police force and the military.

"The information we have received is that he was arrested several years ago under another name," SSP Chambers told the Observer. It was not clear, however, why he was arrested then and the outcome of the case.

Last month, some people alleged that they were duped into paying over their hard-earned cash as deposits for Nissan Tiida motor cars, while others said that they had paid for other services, including securing jobs.

"Hundreds of people have been left stranded by this company. Dem tell the people that they could get dem top-of-the-line motor vehicles on hire purchase, and after two months of waiting all now we are yet to get the vehicles," said a woman who was among a large group who had gathered in New Kingston to request the refund of their 'car deposits'.

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