AURORA, Ont. – York Regional Police have put a $10-million-plus money laundering and passport forgery operation in the GTA out of business.
Investigators said this was quite an elaborate operation. They uncovered five different passport forgery labs in Aurora and Toronto.
Police seized items more than $50,000, a motor vehicle, a boat, two conducted energy weapons, a handgun, foreign passports, Ontario driver’s licences, official government stamps and chemicals used to forge documents.
“Once the passport has been obtained, and they get real government ID, and then they start defrauding things — corporations, insurance companies,” a police official said.
Police said as many as 100 car crashes were staged for the insurance money.
Police also said 14 people have been arrested so far, and most are refugee claimants from Eastern European countries. More arrests are anticipated.
The following people (from Ontario) have been charged:
- Mikhail Charafetdinov, 50, East Gwillimbury
- Irena Neseverenko, 41, East Gwillimbury
- Oleg Shilman, 37, no fixed address
- Olga Rudenko, 28, no fixed address
- Jouri Fedossov, 52, Toronto
- Vladimir Loginov, 39, Richmond Hill
- Olga Outkina, 38, Richmond Hill
- Kim Baranov, 27, Vaughan
- Artur Koval, 26, Vaughan
- Daria Fedoseivia, 25, Vaughan
- Romans Zavarikins, 45, Richmond Hill
- Andrii Kovaliuk, 32, Toronto
- Yuriy Hlushko, 47, Toronto
- Oleksander Cherednyk, 53, Toronto
Det.-Const. Paul Jodoin said the suspects also stole cars.
“The vehicles are shipped to a foreign country. We’re not talking high-end luxury vehicles, we’re talking lower-end vehicles at a higher volume,” Det.-Const. Jodoin said.
Many of the forged passports are Israeli and police said they’ve been in contact with Israeli officials.
Police said the value of this fraud ring will likely soar to $40-50 million once they’ve completed the investigation.
Anyone with information on this ongoing investigation is asked York Regional Police’s major fraud unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6619, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com or text your tip to CRIMES (274637) starting with the word YORK.