The man would begin the con by gaining the victim’s trust and impressing them with his various business successes, even though he had none, police said. Then he would offer them great returns through his investment channels if they gave him their money.
The man said he was chairman of the World Police Academy which trains officers on the value of human rights, according to its website. The academy’s building was nothing more than a vacant house on Eglinton Ave. W., Hartford said.
Two victims were a family physician and her mother, police said.
“She is a very smart woman but was just taken in by this man,” Hartford said. “They are completely embarrassed.”
Another victim discovered the scheme when police got in touch with her in the Philippines on Friday — while she was scouting locations for the man’s supposed coffee shop venture.
“She is in a state of disbelief,” said Hartford, adding the victim’s mother, father and stepmother were also swindled.
The investigation began when a Vancouver woman complained she lost her life savings, and was forced to sell her home and rent an apartment, police said. The woman was in town visiting her daughter.
Police found two women who said they were engaged to the man. Their parents are also victims.
“He wants to eradicate poverty, he told one of his victims,” Hartford said.
Police believe there may be more victims.
Arvind Kumar Sanmugam, 49, faces several charges, including two counts of fraud over $5,000.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-7303 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS.