Two men and a woman have been arrested for trafficking fake transit passes in Winnipeg.
They are facing numerous charges stemming from a police investigation that began in April, due to an increase in the number of forged bus passes being seized by transit staff, police said on Monday.
Police say an authentic adult bus pass sells for $82. The fakes were being sold for $35 to $60 out of a so-called mom-and-pop convenience store located on Ellice Avenue.
A genuine pass is also characterized by a holographic alphanumeric code with a number used to designate the month (1 to 12) and signified by a letter “F” for full fare. Each pass also contains a unique serial number.
Some Winnipeg Transit drivers say they aren't surprised to hear of the arrests, as they had started seeing dozens of fraudulent passes a day.
"They are more frequent than people think, and some are better than others. There's different ways that you can spot them," said bus driver Kris Doubledee.
Police say they believe hundreds of the fake passes are in circulation.
"It's not like it's a $10 thing," Doubledee said.
"Anything that you can make an extreme profit on, they're going to probably go out of their way and circulate as many as you can."
A 29-year-old man is facing charges of trafficking and possession of forged documents, a 56-year-old man is facing charges of possession of forged documents, and a 55-year-old woman is facing charges of trafficking and possession of forged documents.
They have been released on a promise to appear in court at a later date.