16 Punjab-origin men charged with mail theft, fraud in Canada

Published on Jun 29, 2021 11:44 PM IST

The accused used to steal mail by breaking into mailboxes, targeting cheques, credit cards and identification documents

16 Punjab-origin men charged with mail theft, fraud in Canada
16 Punjab-origin men charged with mail theft, fraud in Canada

The Canadian police have charged 16 Punjab-origin men with more than 140 offences after a six-week investigation involving mail theft, fraud over $5,000, identity theft, uttering a forged document, possession of stolen property and controlled substances.

According to media reports, investigators scrutinised more than 100 reports of mail thefts and incidents of mischief in the Region of Peel between January and April this year and they discovered links to numerous parties residing in Brampton. In May, investigators began collaborating with their partners at Canada Post, Halton Regional Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, and financial institutions.

The accused used to allegedly steal mail by breaking into Canada Post mailboxes or individual roadside residential mailboxes, targeting cheques, credit cards and identification documents. They would then allegedly alter and deposit the stolen cheques into various banks before withdrawing the funds fraudulently, the police was quoted in Canadian media reports.

Investigators began arresting the accused in mid-May and on June 16, two search warrants were conducted at residences in Brampton, where officers located hundreds of pieces of mail, stolen/altered cheques, printers, scanners, and other tools used to forge documents. The investigators also located six stolen vehicles used by suspects, it was reported.

The accused have been identified as Gurdeep Bains, 46, Hartinder Randhawa, 37, Harmeet Khakh, 28, Gurdip Singh, 28, Gurkamal Mehmi, 38, Gurvinder Kang, 38, Hartinder Randhawa, 37, Gurpreet Singh, 21, Varinder Kooner, 43, Gurvinder Kang, 38, Suhail Kumar, 21, Rattan Preetam, 26, Rupinder Sharma 25, Harjinder Singh, 31, all residents of Brampton, Taranjeet Virk, 37, of Woodbridge, and Joga Singh 30, of Toronto.

Further arrests and charges are anticipated in relation to this investigation, said police.

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