Sask. RCMP investigating online romance scams

The Saskatchewan RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit is investigating multimillion-dollar online romance scams worth close to $2 million.

In January of 2018, RCMP received a complaint from a man who claimed that his name had been used without his permission and associated with a fraudulent online transaction. After further investigation, the FSOC discovered that the incident of fraud was connected to several others across the country.

An 18-month-long investigation identified five men, who were living in Regina at the time, were operating online romance scams.

The scams involved the men meeting women on the internet and starting friendships with them, then after time, the friendships grew to the point where they would send gifts and money to one another.

RCMP determined that the men have ties to a large international crime organization involved in long-term romance scams. The organization is responsible for defrauding people of over two million dollars over the past two years.

One of the five men was arrested on January 15th, 2020.

28-year-old Austin Newton is facing several charges including fraudulently personating another person, fraud under $5,000, fraud over $5,000, and possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 21st.

A Canada -wide warrant has been issued for the other four men involved in these romance scams. They are facing several  charges of fraud and possession of proceeds of crime.

RCMP are looking for:

-24-year-old Kelvin Awani

-22-year-old Jonah Eigbuluese

-25-year-old Joshua Ometie

-27-year-old Clinton Newton.

Police warn that the men could be anywhere in Canada and anyone with information is asked to call 306=310-RCMP, or their local police service.

RCMP added that they were shocked by the apparent legitimacy of the online romances and by the time devoted to by the suspects to the victims. In an effort to inform people about these scams, the RCMP made a video highlighting the red flags of a fraudulent online romance. The video can be found at

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