South Asian businessmen targeted. (symbolic)
Canadian police have arrested five people, including two Indian-origin women, in connection with a case of extortion, threats and fraud targeting the South Asian business community in the Greater Toronto Area. On January 24, Peel police arrested four people from Brampton for crimes including property damage, threats and weapons-related violations.
The suspects have been identified as Gagan Ajit Singh (23) of Brampton, Anmoldeep Singh (23) of Mississauga, Hashmeet Kaur (25) and Imanjot Kaur (21). Peel police said Wednesday that he faces charges including extortion, making threats to kill, illegal possession of a weapon and related crimes.
demanded money by threatening
Police said Gagan Ajit and Anmoldeep have already been produced before the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton, while Imanjot and Hashmeet will appear in court at a later date. On January 26, a 32-year-old man reported receiving threatening messages demanding money through phone and WhatsApp.
read this also
A fifth suspect, 39-year-old Arundeep Thind, was separately charged with extortion in connection with the incident. Canadian police said Thind was held for a bail hearing and appeared at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton.
violence against families
Peel Regional Police launched the Extortion Investigative Task Force (EITF) in December last year to investigate South Asian business owners reporting threats of violence against them and their families if they do not pay up, CBC News reports. Was in reply.
No reports of injuries
The unit's Chief Superintendent Shelley Thompson said on Wednesday that a total of 24 charges have been laid in relation to 29 extortion attempts as part of the investigation. According to media reports, Thompson said that in nine of those cases, guns were fired at vacant businesses. However, there is no report of any injury in connection with the firing.
South Asian owners targeted
He further said that different businesses have been targeted, including restaurants and bakeries, trucking and transportation companies and car dealerships. All are with South Asian owners. Explaining the methodology, Thompson said the owners were contacted via phone, social media apps or video calling services like WhatsApp.
demand for indian rupee
Demands for money vary from victim to victim, but criminals always demand cash or Canadian dollars or Indian rupees, Thompson said. He said the Peel Police Task Force is in touch with police services in all those locations as well as police agencies in India.
linked to Indian organized crime
Thompson said there is currently no information to suggest that the extortion attempts in Peel are linked to broader Indian organized crime. He said such a possibility is being actively investigated. He said one of the reasons we do this is to let the community know that we are looking for information. Investigators believe there are likely more victims.