York Police issue warning about currency exchange robberies in Markham

Investigators with the York Regional Police #5 District Criminal Investigations Bureau are warning the public about robberies being reported after currency exchange encounters in Markham.

In these incidents, victims have either answered ads or been in contact with unknown suspects over the social media platform WeChat, police said. The victims arranged to meet with the suspects to exchange Canadian currency for Chinese currency at what they believed would be a cheaper rate than offered by financial institutions. When the victims arrived at the meeting location, they were assaulted or threatened and robbed of the money they brought with them to exchange. Victims have lost thousands of dollars and in some cases they have suffered physical injuries.

According to York Police, on February 1, 2021, a victim met with an unknown suspect, an Asian male, to exchange $20,000 in Canadian to Chinese currency. A second suspect arrived at the location and both suspects pointed firearms at the victim. The suspects took the victim’s cash and cell phone, then fled the scene.

On February 28, 2021, two victims met with two Asian male suspects in a parking lot to exchange $1,000 Canadian to Chinese currency. A third suspect arrived with a firearm and threatened and assaulted the victims. The suspects fled in a black Mercedes sedan.

On Friday, March 5, 2021, a victim met with three Asian male suspects after arranging a currency exchange over WeChat. When the suspects arrived, they assaulted the victim and stole $18,000. The suspects fled from the scene in a black Toyota.

York Regional Police reminds citizens that if something appears too good to be true, it probably is. Use caution when communicating with people you do not know online and avoid using unknown contacts or businesses for currency exchange.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police #5 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7541, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here