6 Winnipeggers arrested in connection with interprovincial fraud ring
WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg police officers have arrested six people living together in a Fort Richmond home in connection with an interprovincial fraud ring.
The police’s financial crimes unit investigated this fraud ring, which targeted people spanning from Ontario to British Columbia, between May and December of 2020.
The investigation began after a Calgary resident’s credit card was compromised and used for purchases, which were traced back to Winnipeg.
Police noted there were a series of similar incidents, which they allege were linked to six people living together in Winnipeg.
According to officers, the suspects used the victims’ stolen identity documents and credit card information
to make fraudulent online purchases, which were then resold for financial gain.
On July 22, officers executed a search warrant at a home in Fort Richmond, which resulted in police seizing several identity documents from several victims, and a large number of high-end items, including designer clothes and electronics. Police also found more than $10,000 hidden within the air vents of the home.
Police have charged six people with numerous fraud-related offences, including Kwabena Owusu Banahene, 28; Johnson Adzotor, 25; Nanayaw Asare Koranteng, 25; Benjamin Kwadwo Bediako, 34; Daniel Nutifafa Amenyeawu, 26; and Tjianna Latasha Smith, 22.
Banahene, Adzotor, and Amenyeawu are in custody, the rest have been released on an undertaking.
Police noted they continued their investigation and laid more fraud-related charges in December 2020, but these are still pending.
None of the charges have been tested in court.
Officers said this investigation should serve as a reminder for people to guard their identity documents and credit card information.
“Keep track of purchases and statements and if you are a victim of fraud, report it to your credit card company and the Police,” they said in a news release.