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Cowichan police apologize to innocent woman wrongly identified as fraud suspect

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP wrongly identified this woman as a suspect in a fraudulent transaction at Island Savings Credit Union in Chemainus. - courtesy RCMP
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP wrongly identified this woman as a suspect in a fraudulent transaction at Island Savings Credit Union in Chemainus.
— image credit: courtesy RCMP

Cowichan police have apologized to an innocent woman wrongly identified as a suspect in a case of fraud at Island Savings Credit Union.

A fraudulent transaction did occur at the credit union's Chemainus location in Dec. 14, however, the image of a woman suspected to be involved in the transaction — which was supplied by police and appeared in the Feb. 3 News Leader Pictorial — was of an innocent individual.

"As a result of the ongoing investigation, the RCMP has just learned that the photograph supplied by the Island Savings Credit Union was not the photograph of the suspected fraud artist," an RCMP press release issued on Thursday states.

"Instead, the photograph depicts an innocent woman who is not a suspect and has no connection to the fraud against the credit union customer."

The innocent woman's image was supplied to local Mounties after a credit union client reported an apparent fraudulent withdrawal from his bank account via an automated banking machine at the Chemainus branch.

The credit union used an ATM surveillance photograph.

"The RCMP has apologized to this customer for the incorrect allegation of her involvement and regrets this error," Insp. Kevin Hewco, detachment commander of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, said in a statement.

Island Savings Credit Union, meanwhile, has now located the correct photograph of the suspect, and has given it to police. The fraud investigation continues.

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