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Cops bust large-scale credit card factory

Richmond Mounties have busted a large-scale credit card factory they believe is linked to Asian organized crime.

On Tuesday, local RCMP announced the results of a March 21 search of a Richmond condo.

Executing a search warrant, they seized two credit card embossing machines, a card printer, card skimming devices and many forged credit cards.

Also found were several computers and hard drives containing person identification including more than 20,000 credit card account numbers.

"Police believe that forged credit cards from this factory have been used throughout Canada and even across the border in Washington State," said Richmond RCMP Cpl. Stephanie Ashton.

Charged with credit-card related offences is Alex Chih Sheng Chen.

As the investigation continues, investigators said further charges are expected.

Chen first entered Canada on a student Visa, and has overstayed in the country by more than 10 years.

Immigration officials have been notified and are working with police investigators to determine if more charges will be laid.

Chen was scheduled to appear in Richmond court on Tuesday morning.

As a result of this investigation, by the Richmond RCMP Financial Crime Unit, police have been notifying financial institutions of the potentially compromised accounts.

"At this point, it's unclear how these credit card account numbers ended up in the credit card factory," Ashton said.

The public is urged to be vigilant when using their credit cards at stores, by protecting their  PINs, personal identification numbers.

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