Court grants bail to net scammer
POLICE fear a Rockhampton mum accused of operating a massive Nigerian internet scam will flee the country after she was granted bail yesterday.
Shirley Marilyn La Ragy was arrested at her Rockhampton home five months ago for allegedly defrauding up to $500,000 from people in American and Canada.
After a lengthy deliberation, acting Magistrate Mark Morrow granted La Ragy bail but ordered she surrender her Australian and Nigerian passports and not go within 100m of any international departure port.
La Ragy is also forbidden from transferring money overseas and had to pay a $5000 surety to be freed as she awaits court proceedings next year.
Police prosecutor Constable Darryl Cox opposed the bail application, saying La Ragy had associates who could help her escape.
“If she’s allowed out of custody she’ll be gone. She’ll flee the country,” Constable Cox said, adding that La Ragy’s “Nigerian contacts” would be able to produce a fake passport for the mum to use.
Constable Cox said some of La Ragy’s alleged victims had received threatening emails from “associates” of the Rockhampton mum.
Constable Cox said victims were told they would be charged with terrorism if they went through with their complaints.
Defence lawyer Anthony DeFraine said the threat allegations could not be proved because La Ragy hadn’t been charged with interfering with witnesses.
To address the risk of La Ragy leaving Australia, Mr Morrow ordered her to report to Rockhampton police five days a week.
He ordered La Ragy to live in North Rockhampton and restricted her from applying for a passport or exit visa.
Constable Cox requested La Ragy be restricted from using the internet but Mr Morrow said such a request couldn’t be monitored.
La Ragy will be back at court on February 27.