Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nanaimo RCMP Kept Busy With Fraud and Grow Op


Mobile Fraud Unit Busted

One male from the Lower Mainland is in police custody facing multiple fraud charges after a seizure by the Nanaimo Property Crime Unit of hundreds of fraudulent credit cards and electronic equipment used to produce them.

The seizure came Dec. 22 around 9 PM while Property Crime members were investigating a possible stolen trailer parked in the Superstore parking lot on Metral Drive. In the course of their investigation, members were able to examine the interior of the trailer. It was only then they realized they were dealing with much more than just a stolen trailer.

One male age 40 associated to the trailer, was arrested for Possession of Stolen Property and taken into police custody .The trailer and truck used to tow it was later seized.

A search warrant was granted later today for the trailer which is believed to be a portable office used in the production of credit cards and debit cards. “Our members believe this was a very organized operation and it will take some time to sort through all of the information obtained from this seizure” said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP. It is unknown how many transactions were fraudulently obtained by this operation and how long this portable office was operating in the Nanaimo area. Our investigators will most certainly be liaising with other investigators up and down the Island as well as in the Lower Mainland to see how far this operation reached, said O’Brien.

No formal charges have been laid however the male in custody is expected to have a bail hearing this early evening. Nanaimo Property Crime Unit members are also asking any card owners victimized by fraudulent means to not call their office .They will be in contact with as many card owners as possible in the next while but it will take some time to sort through all of the seized data.


Pin Pad Fraud Foiled

An alert employee of the Windward Beer and wine prevented their business from becoming another victim in a multi million dollar nation wide PIN pad scam .

The incident began when a male and female came into their store , located at 1588 Boundary Crescent on Monday night just before closing time. The female immediately went to the rear of the store and asked the clerk to assist with the selection of a certain type of beer. While this was going on, the male accomplice managed to remove the PIN pad on the counter and replace it with a fraudulent one. The whole incident lasted no more than several minutes.

After the two left ,the clerk became suspicious when her PIN pad no longer worked properly. She then checked surveillance footage and called police to report the incident.

The next day at 9:30 AM the two suspects were seen in the parking lot and again an astute clerk briefed by the night time clerk, called police and shortly thereafter the two were arrested and taken into custody. The male arrested had on his person the PIN pad taken from the Windward Beer and wine the day before.

A 26 year old male from Vancouver and a 18 year old female were taken into custody on charges of Possession of Stolen Property. Along with the PIN pad several pieces of fraudulent identification was seized.

Debit card fraud was a $105 million dollar business last year in Canada and affected over 148,000 card holders. In this scam a legitimate PIN pad is stolen then replaced with a stolen or phoney one. The phoney one is equipped with a card reader to record each cards information as well as the PIN number attached to it. The data is then retrieved either wirelessly or by reclaiming the phoney pad, and transferred to blank cards which ATM’s accept as the real thing.

A couple of simple techniques to deter your business from becoming a victim of PIN pad fraud are to attach a sticker so that you can easily identify your unit from a phoney one .The other is to have the pad permanently attached to the counter so it can’t be removed.

‘Every year there are over four billion debit transactions that take place and 99.9 go through problem free. Having said that, any amount of fraud is a concern to us “ said Constable Gary O’Brien media spokesperson for Nanaimo RCMP.


Grow Op Taken Out

The Municipal Drug Unit Green team has unofficially become known as the “Grinch Team” after dismantling another marihuana grow operation scheduled for harvest on no other than Christmas Day.

At 10:30 Dec. 22 morning members of the “Grinch Team” carried out a search warrant in the 2000 block of Cathers Drive and located 226 plants, eleven grow lights and miscellaneous grow equipment .Some of the plants pictured above were around 4 ft high. Two adults, a male age 31 and a female age 26 were arrested without incident in the residence.

The title of “Grinch Team” not only reflects the number of search warrants being carried out by this select team of Nanaimo officers so close to Christmas, but in this particular case, one of the accused indicated some of the “BC Bud” was to be harvested on Christmas Day.” In this instance our members had no concerns that this persons Christmas was ruined” said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP

Both adults were released on a Promise to Appear on charges of Production of a Controlled Substance under the CDSA and are expected to appear in Nanaimo Provincial court on March 16th .


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