Ontario’s Peel Regional Police arrest two South Asians in Ponzi scheme, seek more victims after 24 people lose $2 million

INVESTIGATORS from Ontario’s  Peel Regional Police Fraud Bureau are seeking victims of a Ponzi scheme that was in operation from January to October 2014.

Police have located 24 victims of this scheme, in which victims are asked to provide money in exchange for a very high rate of return. This makes the investment enticing. The culprits posed as successful overseas investors or Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) officers who had access to unclaimed government money. A total of about $4 million was taken from the victims that have come forward.

Shauaib Shafi, 27, of Vaughn has been charged with fraud over $5,000, personate peace officer, forcible confinement, use imitation firearm, laundering proceeds of crime (two counts), possession of property obtained by crime and public mischief.

Shabnam Shafi, 41, of Mississauga, has been charged with fraud over $5,000 and laundering the proceeds of crime.

They were both arrested on Monday, May 7 and held pending a bail hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton on Friday, May 8.

Constable Thomas Ruttan told The VOICE that most of the victims were South Asians who were new to Canada.

To learn more about this type of scam and other fraud scams currently affecting Canadians, visit the Canadian Anti-fraud centre website at www.antifraudcentre.ca

Investigators are concerned that there may be further victims, and are asking victims to come forward to police. If you have been a victim of this scheme, you should contact the Fraud Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3335, to speak with an investigator.