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RCMP arrests two suspects in connection with Bell data breach

Ottawa (October 9, 2019) – RCMP arrested Nana Koranteng and Jesiah Russell-Francis in connection with the Bell data breach in 2018. On October 8, fraud charges were laid against the suspects from Montreal who are alleged to have been involved in the cyber-attack.

Nana Koranteng and Jesiah Russell-Francis from Montreal were arrested on October 8 as a result of the criminal investigation of RCMP’s project ‘Abalone’. The National Division Cybercrime Investigative Team has been investigating since early 2018 when a cyber-attack on the telecom business Bell was reported.

The cyber-attack led to the breach of personal information of about 100,000 Bell customers. Information such as names, email addresses, account user names, account user numbers, and phone numbers were fraudulently obtained.

Korateng and Russel-Francis are alleged to have been involved in the cyber-attack. They were identified by the Cybercrime Unit as they were using a number of stolen accounts to fraudulently purchase goods online. ‘This is a textbook example of a hacking case where the suspects were using stolen personal data to purchase hardware material.’, explained Alexandre Beaulieu, Acting Officer in Charge of the RCMP in a statement.

On October 8, the Montrealers have been arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a computer, fraud over $5,000, conspiracy to commit fraud, laundering proceeds of crime, identity theft, and identity fraud. Beaulieu comment on the arrests: ‘I’m proud of the work of our investigators as they worked diligently with our partners to prosecute these crimes which have an impact on our country’s economic well-being.’