Task force to share update on violent extortions targeting South Asians in Mississauga and Brampton

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Published February 6, 2024 at 1:36 pm

brampton shooting suspect armed
Peel police are looking to identify a possibly armed man after a Brampton business was shot up in Brampton. (Photo: Peel Regional Police)

Investigators are set to share more information about the task force working to crack a string of violent extortions in Mississauga and Brampton targeting members of the South Asian community.

Police in multiple provinces have been investigating cases of violent extortion scams threatening South Asian communities, including at least 16 incidents in Mississauga and Brampton.

In one Brampton incident, police say multiple gunshots were fired at a business near Rutherford Road South and Clark Boulevard.

Now police say they will give an update on its Extortion Investigative Task Force (EITF) on Wednesday, which was formed in response to the extortions.

Police say the scam starts with a phone call or social media message from fraudsters demanding protection money. In some cases the threats have escalated to violence, with investigators saying these types of scams are common in India.

One man from Surrey, B.C. has been arrested in connection to one of the alleged incidents and police are still looking for a second person linked to the Brampton shooting.

RELATED: Police investigate 16 violence-linked extortion cases targeting South Asian businesses in Mississauga and Brampton

With Peel police, the RCMP and other agencies investigating similar incidents across Canada, Mayor Patrick Brown and Surrey, B.C., Mayor Brenda Locke penned a letter to Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc calling for “a more comprehensive strategy” and a “unified approach to tackle this issue.”

Mayor Brown also had a phone call with LeBlanc recently to discuss the issue, according to a post on social media.

When reached by Insauga.com the ministry declined to disclose what was discussed on the call or what measures the ministry is taking to address this issue, directing questions to the RCMP.

Investigators are again reminding residents who receive these threats to call police immediately and not give in to any demands.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact the Extortion Investigative Task Force at (905)-453-2121, ext. 2133 or submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

The update from police is expected at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

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