Police have charged a Brampton, Ont. couple over their alleged participation in a number of scams, including Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scams.
The RCMP announced that they have arrested and charged Gurinderpreet Dhaliwal, 37, and Inderpreet Dhaliwal, 36, with one count of fraud over $5,000, one count of money laundering and one count of property obtained by crime in connection with various scams, including CRA, “bank investigator” and “tech support” scams.
The allegations have not been proven.
The arrests follow an investigation by the RCMP’s Greater Toronto Area Financial Crime section — code named Project Octavia — that was launched in October 2018 to combat CRA scams.
The RCMP reported that these scams — which involve “callers identifying themselves as CRA and/or…other federal government agencies and then intimidating victims into paying non-existent fines or taxes” — have cost victims an estimated $16.8 million over the past five years.
The estimated losses rise to $30 million when similar bank investigator and tech support scams are included.
Along with financial losses, these scams have caused Canadians to become suspicious when the CRA is attempting legitimate contact, police noted.
“The CRA scam, which is operating out of India, has been targeting the Canadian public since 2014, and despite a number of police raids on illegal call centres in India, it continues to victimize Canadians,” police said.
The RCMP reported that its investigators have uncovered “money mules and money mule managers” operating in Canada who help launder funds obtained through the CRA scam and other scams.
“Further arrests and charges may be forthcoming as a result of this investigation,” it said.
The Dhaliwals were released on their own recognizance and are scheduled to appear in a Brampton court on March 2.
Additionally, an arrest warrant has been issued for Shantanu Manik, 26, who police say is believed to be in India.