RCMP allege South Asian pair in Ontario defrauded banks using synthetic identities

FOLLOWING a one-year-long investigation dubbed Project O ID, investigators with the Hamilton-Niagara Regional RCMP Detachment have charged two individuals with using fraudulent Canadian citizenship documents to defraud financial institutions.

Police allege that the pair created multiple synthetic identities and fictitious companies to obtain loans and other credit products. Funds were then laundered through the phony companies before being converted to bank drafts or moved off shore.

Tahir Mahmood, 49, of Toronto, and Nashaid Bhatti, 44, of Mississauga have been charged with fraud and money laundering offences. Both are scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice on October 13 in Hamilton.

The investigation continues.

According to Inspector Steve Martin, Officer in Charge of the Hamilton Niagara Regional Detachment, the abuse of Canadian identity documents is a serious issue that affects not only the banks.

He said: “The fraudulent use or counterfeiting of Canadian government issue identification not only places Canadian financial institutions at risk, but also the integrity of our borders. The RCMP and its partner agencies remain committed to the vigorous pursuit and prosecution of those who abuse these valuable documents.”

Anyone with information on this crime or any other criminal activity is encouraged to contact their local RCMP Detachment, local police service or anonymously through CrimeStoppers.