Charges laid against 2 people from Toronto after FBI-led investigation

The J. Edgar Hoover Building of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seen on April 03, 2019 in Washington, DC. - The FBI is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States, and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images

An international police investigation led by the FBI has resulted in the arrest of a man and woman from Toronto, police say.

Police forces joined together under a project nicknamed Operation Eagle Sweep to investigate business email compromise schemes that target businesses by intercepting and stealing wire transfers.

Scammers spoof employee email addresses or gain access to their business accounts to organize the theft, Toronto Police said in a press release. Police said, globally, losses exceeded $2 billion last year alone.

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“These criminals also exploit individuals, often real estate purchasers, the elderly and vulnerable victims,” officers said.

After an FBI investigation in California, police were able to identify and locate two people in Toronto allegedly involved in “transnational fraud schemes targeting Canadians.”

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Toronto police said they arrested a 41-year-old woman and a 42-year-old man last year among 65 suspects arrested in the United States, Nigeria, South Africa, Cambodia and Canada.

Police told Global News the arrests, which took place in October, were just published now because the international investigation was complete.

Osatohanmwen Oriakhi and Bright Osaghnw, both from Toronto, were arrested and face numerous charges. They include fraud over $5,000 and uttering a forged document.

They will appear in court virtually on April 21.

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