Canada-wide warrants have been issued for an Edmonton man and woman who were arrested earlier this month in a fraud investigation.
Police said in a release Friday that two suspects violated their release conditions when they boarded a plane at the Vancouver Airport that was headed to London, England’s Heathrow airport.
Warrants have now been issued for Vivek Shailesh Parekh, 32, and Nidhi Nitnaware, 34. Both face several fraud related charges. (Full list below)
The charges stem from an investigation Edmonton police started in October 2016. Edmonton Police Service investigators were contacted by police in Ontario that two suspects were believed to have connections in Edmonton. Officers confirmed the two lived in Edmonton.
Police searched two homes and a vehicle in the downtown area March 5 and 6 and seized:
- More than $20,000 worth of tablets and accessories
- More than 10,000 credit card applications
- Identity documents in the process of being altered
- Evidence of seven mailboxes around Alberta that were used in the commission of these crimes
“These two suspects were legitimately employed to sell credit cards,” Staff Sgt. Brad Pearce with EPS downtown division criminal investigations section said in a release. “There was no way that citizens could have known this was connected to fraudulent activity.”
Parekh, 32, was charged with theft over $5,000, obtain/possess identity information(x2), made/possess identity documents, possess a forged or falsified credit card, fraud over $5,000, personation to gain advantage himself (x8), disguised (x3), possess stolen property over $5,000 and breach of recognizance (x4).
Nitnaware, 34, was charged with fraud over $5,000, possess identity information, possess a forged or falsified credit card, personation to gain advantage herself (x3) and breach of recognizance (x4).
“We’re reminding everyone to check their accounts regularly and report suspicious activity to your financial institution,” Pearce said.
Police say the best way to know whether your identity has been stolen is to monitor all financial accounts. If you see any unusual activities, are called by collection agencies about unfamiliar accounts or have applied for a credit card and were turned down unexpectedly you should investigate further.
If you suspect or know you are a victim of identity theft or fraud take the following action:
- Step One: Contact your bank or financial institution and credit card company
- Step Two: Contact the two national credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit cards
- Step Three: Always report identity theft and fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
You can find more information about fraud prevention at from Service Alberta, the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and Scam Detector. You’ll also find fraud prevention tips on the Edmonton police website.