Northern Ireland

Teenager due in court over suspected gift voucher fraud in Omagh

A teenager in Omagh is due in court over charges relating to the fraudulent purchase of gift vouchers. PICTURE: PA (Press Association Images)

A teenager is due in court on charges related to the fraudulent purchase of gift vouchers in Omagh.

Detectives investigating the incident on Tuesday charged the 19-year-old man with six counts of fraud by false representation, four counts of possession of articles of use in frauds, attempted fraud by false representation and going equipped for theft.

Scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service in line with normal procedure.

In a separate incident earlier this month, police investigating fraud reports across Northern Ireland arrested two men, both aged 28, in Antrim.

A police spokesperson said that six reports had been received from a number of shops of fraud and attempted fraud, where two men attempted to purchase gift cards using a payment card – but the shop ultimately never received the payments.

By December 10, police said they had received four similar reports in Dungannon, one in south Belfast and one in Crumlin.

The two men were arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation.

Investigations over the crimes are ongoing and increased patrols were put in place as part of Operation Season’s Greetings to reassure shoppers and business owners.

Chief Superintendent Darrin Jones, the PSNI’s business crime lead, said: “We know that this is a key time of year for retailers and as a Police Service, we want to reassure businesses that we remain committed to tackling business crime and developing our established partnerships with organisations such as Retail NI, Retailers Against Crime and the Federation of Small Businesses, Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, Belfast City Centre Management and others to ensure Northern Ireland remains a safe place to do business.

“Working together, we can reduce business crime and we’re asking everyone to play their part. If you’re in a shop or in business premises, and you see something suspicious, report it to us.

“That piece of information can help us apprehend criminals, bring them before the Court and return stock to retailers where we can.”