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Three charged with conspiracy to defraud Bland Ltd over Govt security work

Three local men will appear before the Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday charged with conspiracy to defraud a local company that carried out security-related work for the Gibraltar Government.

It is alleged the men dishonestly undermined the ability of Bland Limited to perform its contractual commitments with the Government of Gibraltar in connection with a maintenance agreement for the National Security Central Intelligence System.

The men are accused of trying to benefit from that agreement for themselves or for 36 North Limited, a security business.

Thomas John Cornelio, John Christopher Perez and Caine Derek Sanchez were arrested in May last year as a result of a police investigation following a criminal complaint made by both Bland Ltd and the Gibraltar Government.

The three were arrested and charged following an investigation by the Royal Gibraltar Police with the assistance of the UK’s National Cyber Crime Unit at the National Crime Agency.

In a statement, the RGP said the allegations related to a period of time between 2018 and 2019.

In addition to the conspiracy to defraud charge, Mr Cornelio was also charged with 14 computer misuse-related offences.

These include three counts of unauthorised access to computer material; three counts of unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of a computer; and eight counts of unauthorised acts causing or creating risk of serious damage.

Mr Sanchez, a senior civil servant, was also charged with one count of misconduct in public office and one count of aiding and abetting unauthorised access to computer material.

The three men were released on police bail and will appear before the Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning.