New Details In Possible International Crime Ring

Saturday, January 19th 2008, 9:31 pm
By: News On 6

There is new evidence in what might be an international crime ring.  Police in Tulsa nabbed four suspected members in Tulsa on Wednesday.   News On 6's Dan Bewley reports the men arrived in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, via New York and Toronto.

On Wednesday, they hit Tulsa and faked their way into nearly $100,000 dollars in cash and hi-tech gear.  Tulsa Police found it all on Friday.  The News On 6 had an exclusive look at the loot.

Hundred dollar bill, after hundred dollar bill, loads of cash were found by Tulsa police inside a room at the Ramada Inn at Garnett and I-244.  It was rented out by four Chinese nationals.   Officers found $60,000 in blue jeans and suitcases.

"This is in addition to approximately $13,000 in cash that we recovered Wednesday evening when we first contacted them.  And, the recovery of about $20,000 worth of merchandise that had been fraudulently obtained," said Tulsa Police Officer Anthony First.

The four men were arrested Wednesday night after, police say; they used a fake credit card at the Skelly Drive Best Buy to try to purchase a computer and $2,000 in gift cards. It raised red flags for the store manager and an off-duty Tulsa police officer, who was shopping at the store. He chased one of the men on foot for nearly a mile. Another officer spotted the getaway vehicle. A short time later all of the men were in handcuffs and investigators began to unravel, what they're calling, a well-run operation.

"We believe in just the 12 hour period they were here in Tulsa, Wednesday morning until their arrest Wednesday evening, they managed to acquire almost $100,000 worth of cash and property just in that twelve hour period. So, they're very good at what they do," said Tulsa Police Officer Anthony First.

Investigators say the men were using credit cards tied to an account at a Canadian bank that had fake information on the front, but real information in the magnetic strip.

They got the cash, police say, by hitting casinos with the bogus credit cards, as well as, fake checks. A map found in the hotel room, according to police, had all of Oklahoma's casinos circled and highlighted.

In a case that seems to be all about the Benjamins, Tulsa police say a vigilant store manager and sharp-eyed off-duty police officer may have brought down a major crime ring.

Investigators are still trying to piece together just how big this ring might be and if it's part of a worldwide effort.  They do believe the men are in the country illegally.