Toronto resident charged following international investigation into extortion against elderly couple

A Toronto resident has been charged following an international investigation into the extortion of an elderly Bradford, Ont., couple, South Simcoe Police say.

On June 4, investigators say the couple received a call from an unknown woman who threatened them with police action if they didn’t go to the bank and withdraw cash.

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The frightened seniors complied, police say, and the woman instructed the couple to leave the money outside their home, which is located in the Holland Street West and Langford Boulevard area.

According to officers, a man picked up the cash and fled on foot to a nearby vehicle waiting.

South Simcoe Police were able to determine that the scam was linked to somewhere in Europe.

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Following an investigation that involved the RCMP and police in Europe, South Simcoe Police executed a search warrant at a Toronto home on Wednesday. Police seized a number of items at the time they executed the warrant.

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Valentino Vadja, 34, from Toronto, was subsequently charged with robbery, extortion, breach of probation, possession of property obtained by crime, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and failure to comply with a recognizance.

Vadja was released with a future court date and conditions.

The investigation is ongoing and police believe there may be other victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Ian Fenik at 905-775-3311, ext. 1059, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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