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Cruz Bay
Tuesday, October 4, 2022


Brink's of Puerto Rico, closed down Friday by the government, reportedly is back in business, thanks to a temporary license. The shutdown had caused major problems for banks and other businesses that transport large amounts of cash.
The Daily News reports Wednesday that acting Police Commissioner Franz Christian gave Brink's a temporary waiver Tuesday to operate. The paper quotes Attorney General Iver A. Stridiron as saying the shutdown caused a cash shortage in the territory.
"As a consequence of them being shut down, it hurt bank operations and the ordinary consumer doing business with banks and supermarkets," Stridiron said.
A cease-and-desist order had been delivered to Brink's on Friday, shutting down armored car service to local customers.
The result was that businesses that had contracts with Brink's to transport cash had to scramble to find alternatives.
Sharon Kendall, branch manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Havensight, said Tuesday morning, "We've had to take care of our own processing. Normally Brink's would come and take the night bags out and take them to the main branch."
Bruce Hamlin, assistant Police commissioner, said Brink's was running a business without a business license.
But Knolah Nicholls, director of licensing at Licensing and Consumer Affairs, said Brink's license to provide armored car service was in force and "good until the end of the year."
The issue seemed to be another license that is required to carry firearms.
Nicholls said, "Anything having to do with carrying arms has to come from Public Safety."
Ronald Palmer, Brink's branch manager, said he was told not to talk to the press.
Attorney Joseph B. Arellano, who represents Brink's, said he could not make any comment.
He did say that by today Brink's might be in a position to issue a statement.
The cease-and-desist order was delivered to Brink's on Friday but the impact was not felt at many businesses until the start of the work week Monday.
Chase Manhattan Bank announced Tuesday morning that ATM machines at various locations would not be available for deposits until further notice. Customers could still withdraw money from the machines and conduct other transactions. A Chase official, who asked not to be identified, would not say if the problems with the ATMs were related to the Brink's shutdown.
Officials of Scotia Bank and Chase would not discuss how money was being safely moved in the absence of the armored car service.
Brink's last week held $26,000 in government cash to try to force the government to pay the $53,000 that the company claims it is owed for services. Stridiron later showed up at the Brink's office with police officers to retrieve the cash. The license shutdown occurred a few days later.
Stridiron said Brink's officials have apologized and no civil or criminal charges would be filed against the company, Wednesday's Daily News said. Meanwhile, the government is using law-enforcement officials to transport cash.

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