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Cash shop-and-swap fraud allegations land Quebec man in Surrey jail

He’s charged with crimes connected to merchandise sales on social media

A Quebec man is behind bars in Surrey charged with 11 counts of fraud connected to merchandise sales on social media.

Surrey Mounties say Florian Dinca, 44, was arrested and charged with committing multiple frauds across Metro Vancouver. A few weeks ago, he was nabbed in Toronto for similar crimes.

Toronto Police Service say the accused posed as a buyer on Facebook Marketplace and used the alias “Danny.” Victims of crime say he wore a surgical mask when meeting with a seller, and switched an envelope containing cash payment with another containing only paper.

In Surrey, police investigated incidents where people complained about getting ripped off in three separate transactions in January of this year.

“Some victims reported being shown an envelope of money when they met with the buyer, but later discovered they did not receive the agreed-upon payment,” says a Surrey RCMP news release.

Investigators uncovered similar incidents in other cities including Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, West Vancouver and Maple Ridge, and the case remained a Surrey file.

According to the Mounties, the primary investigator with Surrey RCMP was completing a report to Crown Counsel when told that the suspect had been arrested in Toronto on April 8.

In Surrey, Dinca is charged with two counts of fraud and nine counts of fraud over $5,000. On April 28 he was transferred to Surrey pre-trial ahead of a court appearance May 3.

It was a complex investigation that included multiple jurisdictions, police say. “The primary investigator’s dedication and investigative skills were paramount in identifying the suspect,” said Cpl. Sarbjit K. Sangha, spokesperson for Surrey RCMP.

Victims of fraud are encouraged to report such crimes to police, Sangha added.

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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