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Nov 18

Woman wanted for Alberta credit-card scam a former bank employee

A woman wanted on a Canada-wide arrest warrant in connection with a credit card scam in Alberta is a former CIBC employee.

On Thursday, the bank issued a statement confirming 34-year-old Nidhi Nitnaware was employed by them.

“Ms. Nitnaware is a former CIBC employee, who was no longer employed by us at the time of her arrest,” the statement reads. “We are reviewing this matter and have found no evidence that any CIBC clients were impacted.

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“As a general matter, we recommend that our clients monitor their accounts for any unusual activity, and ask that they please contact us directly if they ever have questions or concerns.

Earlier this month, Edmonton police issued Canada-wide arrest warrants for Nitnaware and 32-year-old Vivek Shailesh Parekh. The said the pair were arrested earlier in March but violated the conditions of their release after they were spotted at the Vancouver airport, boarding a plane bound for Heathrow Airport in London, England.

READ MORE: Canada-wide warrant issued for man and woman in Alberta credit card scam

“Mr. Parekh was not employed by us at the time of his arrest,” CIBC said in its statement Thursday.

The suspects are the focus of an investigation into a large-scale fraud involving several complainants, including financial institutions.

Last October, investigators were told by police in Ontario that both suspects were believed to have connections to Edmonton. Subsequent checks confirmed they lived in the city and were connected to other fraud-related files.

Searches of two homes and a vehicle in early March led to the seizure of several items: 10,000 credit card applications, more than $20,000 worth of tablets and accessories, identity documents that were in the process of being altered and evidence of seven mailboxes around Alberta that police said were used in the commission of these crimes.

“These two suspects were legitimately employed to sell credit cards,” said Staff Sgt. Brad Pearce with EPS Downtown Division Criminal Investigations Section. “There was no way that citizens could have known this was connected to fraudulent activity. We’re reminding everyone to check their accounts regularly and report suspicious activity to your financial institution.”

Parekh and Nitnaware are facing various fraud-related charges, as well as theft over $5,000 and four counts each of breach of recognizance.

EPS said more charges are pending as the investigation continues.

-With files from Karen Bartko, Sarah Kraus and