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Police find identification forgery lab in Richmond home

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 4:13 PST, Thu January 19, 2023

Last month, Richmond RCMP economic crime unit (ECU) and drug target team searched a Richmond residence, where officers discovered evidence consistent with a sophisticated forged identification lab.

Items seized during the search included:

• High-end printers and laminators including those capable of forging security features in governmental identification

• Thousands of blank identification cards

• Numerous electronic devices and computers

• Stolen mail and documents belonging to third parties

 “Anyone who has ever been the victim of identity theft knows how awful and violating it can be to figuratively have ‘you’ stolen. There are many levels to identity theft, (from) mail containing personal information being stolen to fake identities being made and sold to other people. It is an intricate and complicated web often with links to organized crime,” says Insp. Michael Cohee, officer in charge of investigative services. “Identity theft is a type of fraud. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, over $383 million was lost to fraud in 2021 alone. This is a staggering amount of money. As police, we see the faces of the victims and the devastating impact it can have on them. From education to enforcement, like this investigation, we are doing everything we can to protect our community.”

 A man was arrested and released on conditions, pending further investigation. Richmond RCMP ECU and drug target team have conduct of this investigation, which remains active and ongoing.

 The economic crime unit and drug target team are part of the larger Richmond RCMP organized crime unit, which is comprised of ECU, drugs, organized crime project team, and criminal intelligence.

Anyone who has information regarding this investigation is asked to call Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212 and quote 2022-33913. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit them online at solvecrime.ca.

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