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5 people arrested in debit card fraud targeting TTC

TORONTO, Ont. – Five people have been arrested in connection with “Project Rocket” — a debit card fraud ring targeting the TTC.

It was a joint effort between Toronto police’s financial crime unit, the TTC’s special investigations unit, and the private sector.

Investigators said the suspects used fraudulent debit cards to purchase metropasses between June 24 and Sept. 27, 2012.

Police said it’s believed those arrested are responsible for at least $180,000 worth of losses.

“At the time of their arrests, the accused — four of them –were in possession of 168 counterfeit debit cards and 29 TTC monthly passes. A fifth accused was arrested shortly thereafter,” Toronto police Det. Ian Nichol said.

Four of the five people arrested were nabbed at a subway station, but police believe the fraud could extend beyond the TTC.
“It is our belief that some of the arrested persons, they have been involved in further debit card fraudulent activity in the province of Ontario,” Toronto police Staff-Insp. Bryce Evans said.

Police said a search of a home in the Park Lawn Road and Lake Shore Boulevard area uncovered 105 counterfeit debit cards, stolen debit card terminals, as well as credit card readers and writers, among other items.

Umasangar Ramasamy, 33; Jigme Lhundup, 23; Tenzin Namsal, 24; Tenzin Delek, 28; and Tsering Choden, 26, each face numerous charges.

More charges are expected.