Feds bust bagmen in overseas telephone scam

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Agence France-Presse

Canada’s federal police announced Friday the arrests of suspected “money mules” linked to an overseas telephone scam in which crooks posing as tax officials bilked Can$16.8 million from Canadians.

The shakedown, operating out of India since 2014, involved callers identifying themselves as Canada Revenue Agency officials, and later as police or other officials, and intimidating victims into paying fines or taxes that weren’t owed.

Some lost their life savings or borrowed to pay the fraudsters, according to local reports.

Gurinderpreet Dhaliwal, 37, and Inderpreet Dhaliwal, 36, were arrested in a Toronto suburb and charged with fraud and money-laundering, while an arrest warrant has been issued for Shantanu Manik, 26, who is believed to be in India.

Police said the swindle generated widespread fear as scammers threatened victims with arrest, and made Canadians wary when actual government officials attempted legitimate contact.

“We have disrupted the… flow of money from Canada to India which will have a big impact on the operation and the bottom line of the scammers,” Inspector Jim Ogden of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told a news conference.

Authorities in India also shut down 39 illegal call centers in Noida and New Delhi as part of a joint investigation, he said.

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