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OPP charge three veteran officers in tow truck scandal

 

OPP charge three veteran officers in tow truck scandal

John Best

Three OPP officers face corruption charges as the province continues its efforts to clean up the criminal activity that has infected Ontario’s towing industry. In February 2019, the OPP Professional Standards Unit were tipped off that  members of the OPP Highway Safety Division  were providing preferential treatment to tow operators within the Greater Toronto Area. In October 2019, a joint investigation commenced with the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch  and the OPP PSU involving offences related to breach of trust and bribery.

As a result of this complex internal investigation, three career OPP officers have been charged with Secret Commissions and Breach of Trust contrary to the Criminal Code.

Charges laid

The charged OPP members are as follows:·      PC Simon BRIDLE – aged 53 years – Highway Safety Division 407 Detachment, a 20-year police veteran,

·      PC Mohammed (Ali) HUSSAIN – aged 52 years – OPP Toronto Detachment with 24 years of service.

Hussain was arrested on January 13, 2021 and Brindle was arrested on January 14, 2021 and both have been released on undertakings with specific conditions of release. PC Brindle is additionally charged with obtaining sexual services for consideration, contrary to section 286.1(1) of the Criminal Code.

Police have also issued an arrest warrant for    PC Bindo Showan – aged 57 years -a 20-year OPP veteran who also worked out of the Highway Safety Division 4077 Detachment.

As per the Police Services Act, all three members have been or will be served notices of suspension with pay.

Additionally, as a result of this ongoing criminal investigation, four more OPP officers – including two Commissioned Officers from the Highway Safety Division – have been suspended with pay. These members remain under investigation but have not been charged with an offence. The investigation is continuing and should these members be criminally charged, their identities will be released.

The OPP has also charged Sutheshkumar Sithambarpillay , aged 52 years of Toronto, with aiding and Abetting Breach of Trust and Secret Commissions contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada. The accused is expected to appear in court on April 16, 2021 at the Ontario Court of Justice  in Toronto.

The investigation and arrests followed newspaper accounts that described a violent and deadly tow-truck war that saw at least four people in the industry killed, vehicles torched as companies  battle for a bigger shares of the towing business

If anyone has information regarding this ongoing investigation, they are urged to call the OPP non-emergency number at 1-888-310-1122 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, contact CrimeStoppers.

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