The tip came from Gordon Vangust, owner of Glenmore Sailboats, who said he had been courted by two men claiming to be political refugees from Sierra Leone, for a month before he realized they were trying to con him.
"We had some customers come in looking to buy boats to ship over to West Africa," he said Thursday. "It's not uncommon for us to sell boats internationally."
After several meetings, the men explained that they had smuggled their cash out of Africa.
"They then proceeded to show me they coat their bills in something and turn them white, then they are able to smuggle them out of the country. They needed my help to clean these bills and turn them back into Canadian currency," said Vangust. "This is high school chemistry at the finest."
The men asked Vangust for Canadian cash to help them with the "cleaning" process and lost interest in the boat deal, he said.
"That's when the alarm bells really started to go off and that's when I did the research on the internet to find the [black money] scam," he said.
Vangust called police.