Toronto police have arrested a man accused of leading a cargo-redirection scheme involving dozens of false identities and more than $500,000 in fraudulent credit cards and lost gold, jewelry and electronics.
The arrest is part of Project Groundhog, an investigation of the Toronto police financial crimes unit launched this summer.
The man led a cargo redirection scheme to take over commercial shipping accounts and direct shipments away from their intended destinations, Det.-Sgt. Ian Nichol said at a Monday news conference.
“The shipments were then redirected to addresses controlled by suspects, or to a warehouse for a pickup by a person who was posing as the intended recipient of the product,” Nichol said.
Police with the financial crimes unit on Wednesday conducted a search at Yorkville condo and an office near Finch Ave. W. and Hwy. 400.
They found a stolen Hublot watch — worth $36,000 — three forged Ontario drivers licenses, 25 forged Canadian citizenship certificates, 28 credit cards obtained through identity theft, 26 pages of identity information, a stash of $2,365 in cash and multiple phones and other electronics, Nichol said.
Also on Wednesday, police arrested Jerahmeil Selvyn Wilson, 32. He is charged with five counts of theft over $5,000, personation with intent, possession of forged documents and possession of property obtained by crime among many other charges.
Wilson is also accused of applying for credit cards using the identities of innocent victims. The credit cards would be ordered to the victim’s address, then be redirected to addresses Wilson controlled, Nichol said.
Nichol said the raids last week could be just the “tip of the iceberg, so to speak.”
Police have identified at least five suspects using nearly 30 aliases and 38 potential victims affected by these schemes, Nichol said.
Police said the suspects used forged documents to obtain several storage lockers across the GTA to store the stolen goods.
“We’re seeking the assistance of the public in identifying the suspected storage locations, and the actual identities of the people depicted on the forged identifications,” said Nichol.
Wilson is scheduled to appear in court via video link on Nov. 14 at Old City Hall.
Gilbert Ngabo is a breaking news reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @dugilbo