Teen identified as ‘gang’ scammer

A 16-year-old has been identified as the alleged scammer who threatened his victims with gang retaliation if they did not pay up.

Senior Constable Wayne Stapley said the teenager had been referred to Police Youth Aid, which would decide the best course of action and whether to lay charges.

“It’s in the youth aid process,” he said yesterday.

Last week, police told The Star the investigation had stalled after leads they had in identifying the culprit stagnated.

But this week police had an unexpected breakthrough.

Said Senior Constable Stapley: “A bit of extra evidence came forward. I can’t say what though.”

Police received 23 complaints from those targeted by the scam, which involved phone calls and texts to victims who were told the caller was from the Mongrel Mob, Highway 61s or Black Power.

One victim was told to pay $1000 or Black Power would burn his house down and harm his family.

Senior Constable Stapley said the accused was told on Tuesday he would be referred to youth aid. The victims, none of which paid any money, were also updated, he said.

Two phone numbers had previously led police to the youth who was interviewed and denied any involvement. Police had also obtained two bank account numbers, but initially they could not be linked to the phone.