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Six of Nine MoneyGram Locations Shut Down in the Virgin Islands


alvery smith 99

                Alvery Smith in his office            

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – If you want to send your money via MoneyGram, you only have three options left in the territory – and they’re all in St. Thomas.

Hard on the heels of recent closures of money transfer facilities in some other Caribbean islands, notably the Cayman Islands and Curacao, MoneyGram money transfer services have been discontinued at six locations in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The curtailing of services at the specific locations in St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix is a result of a decision made by the MoneyGram regional office in Miami, Florida.

The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs suspended MoneyGram services were suspended at these locations August 14:

On St. Thomas:

– Xpress Payment Center & Money Wire Transfer at Tutu Park Mall.

– Mail Plus, at #23 Dronningens Gade, Charlotte Amalie; and

– Mail Plus at Nisky Center.

On St. Croix:

– Xpress Payment Center & Money Wire Transfer in Plaza Extra Supermarket at Estate Sion Farm.

– Xpress Payment Center & Money Wire Transfer in Plaza Extra Supermarket at Estate Plessen.

On St. John:

– Xpress Payment Center & Money Wire Transfer at 7-4A Cruz Bay

MoneyGram services at three locations in St Thomas remain operational, as they are under different management and ownership than the suspended establishments.

DLCA Commissioner Devin Carrington said MoneyGram services are available on St. Thomas at Caribbean Travel Agency at 9716 Estate Thomas, in the Guardian Building at Havensight, and In Touch at 8172 Sub Base, No. 12 (Island Laundry) in Crown Bay.

“Based on preliminary information received from MoneyGram headquarters, no consumer transactions in the Virgin Islands have been adversely affected by the action,” Carrington said.

The Virgin Islands Police Department’s White Collar Crime Division opened up an investigation into two MoneyGram agents in the territory last month, according to Police Commissioner Delroy Richards Sr.

Alvery Smith is the CEO of A&C Xpress Corporation which has business licenses in the names Mail Plus and Xpress Payment Center & Money Wire Transfer. Smith’s wife Anna R. Garcia is listed as the President of A&C Xpress Corporation.

“As chairman of the Banking Board, the lieutenant governor regulates MoneyGram but does not licence MoneyGram franchisees,” Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter said. “We are working with DLCA to make sure consumers’ interests are protected. We have written to MoneyGram and requested that they find another authorized representative to serve the islands of St Croix and St John as soon as possible, given the large number of consumers that utilize their services on both islands.”

A message for Michelle Buckalew, the director of global media relations for MoneyGram, was not immediately returned, but any subsequent response will be included in updates to this story.

ana and alvery

  Ana Cristina Garcia and Alvery Smith

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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