Two suspects managed to defraud an unnamed major European airline out of CAD $500,000 by posing as fake travel agents and selling 250 valid airline tickets to unsuspecting customers, Canadian police allege.
According to the Peel Regional Police, the two suspects convinced the airline that they were bona fide employees of a travel agency in the United Kingdom in order to gain access to the airline’s secure booking portal.
Between June 2021 and December 2021, the alleged fraudsters sold more than 250 airline tickets at a value of more than $500,000 through this portal. The suspects collected the payments from the passengers but never passed on the funds to the airline.
The Peel Regional Police department says a joint investigation with the Fraud Bureau found that the majority of the passengers lived in the Calgary area and had bought tickets to visit destinations in Africa.
Adebowale Adiatu, 32, was arrested and charged with several fraud offenses back in January, and Gbemisola Akinrinade, 44, was arrested and charged with a slew of fraud offenses on February 24.
Investigators have not said whether the airline honored the tickets after they discovered what had happened.