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Toronto Police bust 62 people in bogus Metropass ring

Passes going for half the price of real deal

Toronto police have charged 62 people with the alleged use or sale of fake transit passes and authorities are warning riders to be wary of those offering steep deals on the passes.

Const. Bob Moynagh says 55 of those arrested are accused of getting on the transit system with counterfeit passes, while the other seven are accused of trafficking them.

He says the fake Toronto Transit Commission passes were sold by a "network of friends" for about half the price of real ones, which currently go for $133.

Moynagh says alleged users were charged with fraud under $5,000 and uttering a forged document, while sellers face counts of trafficking forged documents.

TTC investigator Sergeant Mark Russell says riders should think twice about picking up a pass from someone peddling it at such a major discount.

Russell says the investigation was launched in November after TTC staff noticed riders using the bogus cards, which can't be swiped through station turnstiles because they lack a magnetic strip.

Moynagh says a production lab for the bogus transit cards has not been found but adds the investigation is ongoing.

He said that during the investigation police found "very few" people who believed the passes were legitimate.

"The main theme here (is) buyer beware. If you meet somebody at a Tim Hortons or a McDonald's and buy a Metropass for half its face value, you got to figure out something's going on," Moynagh said Wednesday.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross told reporters that the Presto tap-and-pay system being installed over the next several years will make it harder for fake passes to be used.

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