Paul Ilunga Kasonga Charged with Airline Ticket Fraud in Ottawa

Yesterday, the Ottawa Police Service Organized Fraud Section laid several charges against an Ottawa man, following a year-long investigation into airline ticket sales fraud.

Paul ILUNGA KASONGA, 56 years-old, of Ottawa, was charged with Unauthorized Use of a Credit Card, Fraud over $5000, Laundering Proceeds of Crime and Possession of Proceeds of Crime over $5000. He will appear in court today. A warrant is to be issued for a second man wanted in connection to this investigation.

The investigation began in March 2009 when police received complaints that passengers who had purchased airline tickets had been denied travel, and were forced to purchase another ticket. The investigation revealed that airline tickets had been purchased online on behalf of the customers, using fraudulent credit card numbers.

This fraud scheme was perpetrated by word of mouth or Internet posting sites which advertized cheap airfare. The majority of the travelers were from the Canadian Congolese community.

In a similar investigation which culminated in November 2009, charges were laid against 27 year-old Serge Mpanu Ebinda BOMBIA and 35 year-old Nico MINGA, both of Ottawa. MINGA is currently wanted for failing to appear in court.

The Ottawa Police would like to remind travelers to ensure that they purchase airline tickets through legitimate travel agencies, established sites or airlines. Travelers should be able to identify who they purchased their tickets from, how and who their payments were made to.

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