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Edmonton police looking to identify extortion-arson person of interest

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) are asking for the public’s help to identify a person of interest in a series of arsons.

Police say they’re investigating at least 18 incidents of extortion that have happened throughout the city since October. The suspects target members of the South Asian business community, where they use Whatsapp to demand large sums of money.

According to police, some cases show that the suspect knows personal information on the victim, including family members, vehicles, and lifestyle patterns. Failure to pay these demands leads to property damage and arson to new homes and related property.

After the damages, the suspects begin demanding larger sums of money, which may lead to escalation of violence and drive-by shootings. Police say that no injuries have been reported due to these shooting incidents.

These arsons are typically being committed by young adults and youth carrying jerry cans, according to police. Police have also released a photo of a person of interest in a December 29 arson in the Woodhaven Pointe area.

Six young men have been arrested so far related to these extortions. These men include:

  • 20-year-old Parminder Singh
  • 18-year-old Hassan Dembil
  • 18-year-old Manav Heer
  • 19-year-old Ravinder Sandu
  • 19-year-old Arjun Sahnan

Anyone with information related to the arsons, or the person of interest, is asked to contact EPS at 780-423-4567.

December 29 arson person of interest.
Meryk Linden.

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