RCMP Suspect Held in Custody in Major Identity Theft Case

BRAMPTON, ON, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - On September 25th, 2009, the Greater Toronto Area Commercial Crime Section, Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Team (ICET) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested Ife Igbinigie EGUAKUN aged 23 and Sonni BARDI aged 45 of Brampton, Ontario. The arrests were made without incident at Pearson International Airport in Toronto by ICET after the suspects returned to Toronto from Calgary.

Several sets of identification documents have been recovered, including counterfeit Canadian Social Insurance cards, Ontario and Alberta drivers' licences, credit cards, debit cards, and cheques believed to have been obtained through impersonation and the hijacking of bank accounts of legitimate bank clients. The RCMP has also seized lists of people who were targeted for identity theft, including their personal information such as addresses, dates of birth, Social Insurance Numbers and employment information. The criminal charges before the courts relate to EGUAKUN fraudulently using numerous identities to access numerous customer accounts at various locations throughout Canada with the assistance of multiple accomplices.

At least fifty client accounts are believed to have been compromised by EGUAKUN's organization. It is possible that additional victims will be identified as the investigation proceeds. The RCMP is currently working with the financial institution which is notifying people whose personal information has been or could be compromised. The investigation of this matter continues in co-operation with Calgary Police Service and North Bay Police Service.

EGUAKUN was held in custody after his arrest, and is scheduled to appear in the Brampton Courthouse today at 9:30 AM in Room 206 for his bail hearing in relation to 32 criminal charges relating to frauds throughout Canada involving identity theft, possession of credit card data, impersonation of bank clients, and committing and instructing the commission of offences on behalf of a criminal organization. BARDI was released by the RCMP after being charged with offences related to fraud and personation and will appear in the Brampton Courthouse on Wed. October 28th 2009 at noon in Room 104.

"Fraud relating to identify theft continues to be a growing threat. This investigation, once again highlights the need for the public to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings, and most importantly to always safeguard their personal information," stated Inspector Dave Bellamy who is the Officer in Charge of the RCMP Commercial Crime Section in Toronto. "We would like to remind the public and emphasize that simple measures can go a long ways to reduce the risk of identity theft and payment card fraud."

SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted Police

For further information: For further information: on this case or on Identity Theft, contact: RCMP GTA Commercial Crime Section, Inspector Art Pittman, Office: (905) 876-9778

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