PoCo man facing charges in connection with ID theft ring
A 43-year-old Port Coquitlam man is facing several charges after Coquitlam RCMP busted an identity theft ring.
On Jan. 16 members of the Prolific Target Team executed a search warrant at a home in PoCo's Citadel Heights neighbourhood, where they seized equipment allegedly used to make, forge and alter credit cards and personal identifications.
Investigators also seized hundreds of pieces of stolen mail from addresses throughout the Tri-Cities, as well as stolen property, firearms and illegal drugs, said Cpl. Jamie Chung.
Many of the credit cards appeared to have been stolen from wallets and vehicles, Chung added, in addition to the large stack of blank cards.
Photos of the seized evidence showed at least two guns, one a stolen rifle and the other a possible toy gun.
"I've seen them in grow ops before and now they're showing up in forged credit card factories," Chung said. "The 'caretaker' usually tries to protect what they have, even if it means they have to arm themselves with kitchen knives or a rifle. That's why it's very dangerous to take down one of those places."
Chung declined to offer details on what specifically led officers to search the home, but said the bust is a result of successfully targeting prolific offenders.
"This investigation has disrupted the local identity theft ring and virtually stopped this 'face credit cards factory' from running," Chung said.
Alvin Abhai Chand faces four charges including possession of a stolen firearm, possession of instruments used in forging credit cards, possession of identity documents of another person and possession of stolen or forged credit cards.
He remains in custody and will next appear in B.C. Provincial Court in Port Coquitlam on Jan. 28.
Chung said Chand wasn't the only one in the home at the time and they are working with other agencies and reviewing the evidence to determine whether additional charges can be laid.