Toronto police have arrested and charged a Zimbabwean man who was allegedly defrauding people by posing as a Red Cross worker collecting money for tsunami disaster relief.
Police stopped the man on an unrelated traffic offence last Saturday. He was pulled over for driving a car with improper licence plates.
That’s when police found that he was carrying false Red Cross identification. A search of his vehicle uncovered fake contribution lists.
Police say the man complemented his scam by providing contributors with phony tax receipts. They also uncovered bogus donation forms for a non-existent Christian organisation that was supposedly collecting on behalf of the Red Cross.
The Toronto Police Service said in a statement: “He would produce a charitable tally tax list with the heading for a religious institution named ‘Inter Schools Denominational and Christian Centre’. This institution does not exist.”
The man was also found with a list showing he raised over US$240 from
about 20 people across Toronto.
“None of collected funds was finding its way to any organisation that is any way connected with the Red Cross or any other legitimate charities supporting the Tsunami relief efforts,” police said.
Elmon Muringwa (44) is to appear in bail court on Sunday on charges of fraud under US$5 000. He is a Zimbabwean refugee claimant.
Police are asking anyone who think they made a donation to Muringwa to contact them.