Retailer out $35,000 because of international fraud

'We clearly feel there has been an offence committed'

Jason Hewlett / Kamloops Daily News
December 24, 2012 01:00 AM

RCMP are confident a Kamloops furniture retailer's overseas business transaction was intercepted by hackers, an act of fraud that's left him $35,000 poorer.

"We've got an ongoing investigation," Const. Bernie Ward said Friday. "We clearly feel there has been an offence committed."

City Furniture owner Sid Kandola said an email exchange between himself and a Chinese export company was hacked before final payment was made for a shipment of mattresses.

Unknown to Kandola at the time, he was asked to pay into an account that didn't belong to the company he was dealing with. Instead, the $35,000 wire transfer he made through HSBC Bank Canada ended up in the hacker's hands, he said.

At least that's what Kandola believes. He said the company he thought he was dealing with, Ging Long, contacted him Dec. 6 asking for the payment.

Kandola contacted the local branch of the HSBC on Dec. 7 but didn't hear back for several days. He then spoke with someone in HSBC's business banking division in Vancouver, who told him it would be seven to 10 days to find out what happened.

That was Dec. 11. Kandola has yet to hear back, he said. And he's growing frustrated.

"There should be a way to speed up the procedure," said Kandola, adding his shipping container full of mattresses still sits at a port in Delhi.

"The bank has a responsibility to help."

Ward said Kamloops Mounties are only assisting in the matter as the crime took place outside the local detachment's jurisdiction.

"We'll do our utmost to help because he is a local city business official," he said.

An official with HSBC could not be reached for comment.

© Kamloops Daily News

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