Major Joint Police Operation against a Forgery and Fraud Network

MONTRÉAL, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - This morning, over 400 police officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and Montréal Police Service conducted a major police operation against a forgery and fraud network specialized in forging documents and passports. Thirty-nine searches were carried out in businesses, residences, vehicles, and three day care centres in Montréal. A total of five forgery labs were dismantled and 32 individuals were charged.

The purpose of the operation, called Project C-DEVANCER, was to render inoperative an active criminal network engaged in document forgery, maintain Canada's economic integrity and ensure the safety and security of the public.

The investigation leading to these searches in Montréal, Laval, Blainville, and in the Toronto area established links between 32 suspects at various levels of the organization.

It is alleged that the members of this network set up a two-pronged structure.

Forged documents

A first group of individuals arrested was involved in making:

    -  False credit cards
    -  False documents
    -  False driving licences from different Canadian provinces and American
    -  False social insurance cards
    -  False permanent resident cards
    -  False health insurance cards

It is alleged that this group stole identities to make documents and credit cards. The false credit cards were then disposed of through dealers and intermediate clients, and used to purchase goods or make fraudulent withdrawals.

False passports

The investigation also indicates that a second group of individuals involved in this network specialized in the production and sale of counterfeit passports. The passports were obtained through various means before they were altered by the members of this group. The individuals involved each had their own specialty and played a specific role in the passport forging activity. The members of this second group resided in Montréal and the Toronto area.

In the course of the investigation, the officers uncovered various locations housing forgery labs in Montréal.

The forgery labs dismantled included labs on Côte-de-Liesse Boulevard in Montréal in 2006, on Basile-Patenaude Street in Montréal in 2008, and on du Verger Street in Laval in June 2009. During this last search, officers seized 1,500 white cards, close to 500 false non-embossed credit cards, approximately 100 credit cards ready to be distributed and a series of stolen credit cards numbers. Today a forgery lab was uncovered in a facility-based childcare centre in Rivière-des-Prairies and a second one on Rosemont Boulevard in Montréal.

The following charges have been filed so far in the investigation:

    -  Commission of offence for a criminal organization
    -  Document, credit card and passport forgery
    -  Theft of credit card
    -  Possession of equipment used to commit forgery
    -  Making and Uttering false document
    -  Fraud
    -  Conspiracy
    -  Forgery of or uttering forged passport

Since infrastructures enabling the production of false IDs and passports were discovered, the investigation was conducted by the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET). This team, comprised of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Sûreté du Québec and the Montréal Police Service, is responsible for enforcing the laws on criminal activities that are a direct or indirect threat to the security or the interests of the State. The first priority of INSET is to ensure the security of communities.

The investigation also required the participation of the Laval and Blainville Police Services as well as Toronto INSET which includes the RCMP and its partners in Ontario.

The investigation continues and more arrests could be made.

SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted Police

For further information: For further information: Communications Office, Montréal: (514) 939-8308

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