Hamilton

Niagara police seize 130K masks, 7,500 hand sanitizer bottles after fraud investigation

Niagara Regional police have seized thousands of N95 masks and bottles of hand sanitizer that were allegedly purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic using a fraudulent bank draft.

The estimated value of the masks and sanitizer is $767K

Niagara police say a 34-year-old man was arrested after officers seized thousands of N95 masks and bottles of hand sanitizer allegedly bought with a fraudulent bank draft. (Niagara Regional Police Service)

Niagara Regional police have seized thousands of N95 masks and bottles of hand sanitizer that were allegedly purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic using a fraudulent bank draft.

The investigation began after officers were called on June 19 to a local business that sells personal protective equipment.

Police say their efforts were centered around the purchase of 130,000 N95 masks and 7,500 eight-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer with an estimated value of $767,000.

Investigators say their search brought them to Vaughan where they began working with detectives from the York Regional Police Service.

On Tuesday police executed a warrant and searched a warehouse near Pine Valley Drive and Highway 407.

They also arrested a 34-year-old Woodbridge man and charged him with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.

Photos shared by police show stacks of boxes on pallets and bags of the sought-after masks.

Police say they've seized nearly all 130,000 masks and 7,500 bottles of sanitizer. (Niagara Regional Police Service)

Police say they have located and seized nearly all of the masks and hand sanitizer, but they're continuing to investigate.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 905-688-4111 ext. 9076.

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