Detectives from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Fraud Squad have charged two men after investigating two separate incidents involving the forging of cheques.

In June, a business man was robbed by a group of males. During the robbery, his cheque book was stolen. The man contacted his bank and cancelled his cheque book. A new cheque book was issued by the bank.

On 17 November 2008, a 23-year-old man entered a Honiara bank and presented a cash cheque for $100 000. The bank officer became suspicious of the cheque as it appeared to be forged. The bank contacted the owner of the account the cheque belonged to so it could be determined whether the signature was authentic.

The owner of the account went to the bank to inspect the cheque and realised the cheque was forged and was from the cheque book stolen during the June robbery.

Police were alerted to the incident by the bank officer and attended the bank. The 23-year-old man was arrested and formally charged for uttering contrary to section 343 of the Penal Code.

He was released on bail and is expected to re-appear in the Honiara Magistrates Court on 8 December 2008.

In another case involving forged cheques, a man appeared in the Honiara Magistrates Court on 17 November 2008 to face three charges of uttering.

Police alleged in Court that the man fraudulently ordered a cheque book from a bank and was then using these cheques to withdraw money. Police were alerted to this crime in March and after an investigation the man was arrested on 22 April 2008.

The man pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court on 17 November 2008 and was sentenced to two months imprisonment.

Officer in charge of the Fraud Squad, Detective Constable Joseph Roscal, said people forging cheques must know that it is a crime that will not be tolerated by the community.

"Forging cheques or fraudulently obtaining money from a bank is a serious crime. Police are working with the banks to identify people responsible for this type of crime.

"The detectives involved in both of these investigations should be congratulated and I would like to urge all businesses to ensure their cheque books are kept in a secure place so offenders do not have easy access to it," he said.

Businesses or individuals that wish to report crimes of this nature can contact the Fraud Squad on 21383.

Press Release (Police Media)