The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary seized over 300 prepaid gift cards and credit cards in relation to the arrest of five people believed to be from the Montreal area.
The three males and two females, whose ages range from 19 to 47 years, are due to face over 40 charges combined. Each of them face four counts of fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, one count of possessing property obtained by crime, one count of theft forgery of credit card, and one count of possessing instruments for copying credit card data or forging or falsifying credit card data.
The 20 and 47-year-old males and the 19-year-old woman have also been charged with breaching a court order.
Most of the prepaid cards seized were gift cards, including ones for common retailers like Esso and Walmart.
Const. Ken Duff of the RNC’s economic crime unit told reporters Wednesday this sort of activity is a relatively new phenomenom, and police in this province have not come across such a case until now.
Among the seized items was a device that Duff said can change the information on the magnetic strip of the cards in order to give them value.
RNC received a report on Monday concerning suspicious activity at a hotel in St. John’s. A search warrant was executed early the next morning, at which time police found the cards along with electronics.
Two of the accused were arrested Tuesday morning at St. John’s International Airport, while the other three suspects were arrested that evening at the airport.
The accused were scheduled to appear in provincial court in St. John’s on Wednesday.
For more on this story, read Wednesday’s edition of The Telegram.