Six people, including four from Ontario, face fraud charges, linked to a two-year investigation into allegations related to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver training.
In March 2019, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was advised by the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) of fraudulent passenger and CMV licensing activities, which led to a lengthy criminal investigation.
The investigation focused on fraudulent licensing activities, which circumvented the processes of the Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Colleges and Universities says in a news release.
"The OPP's investigation revealed three major components of a serious fraudulent scheme, significantly impacting the safety of Canadian highways."
- use of an interpreter to fraudulently complete required licensing knowledge tests
- non-Ontario residents applying for an Ontario driver's licence
- circumvention of the Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) standard Investigators identified over 200 incidents in which students had committed a variety of fraudulent activities to obtain a commercial vehicle licence.
The suspects allowed their foreign clients to obtain a class 5 (passenger vehicle) and possibly a class 1 (heavy goods vehicle) driver's license using falsified documents. Another scheme that was identified involved people operating unlicensed schools and delivering unauthorized training to students in eastern Ontario and Quebec.
As a result of the unlicensed operations, six commercial motor vehicles were seized by investigators.
Charged with fraud over $5,000:
- Mohammad Khokhar, 66, and Hanifa Khokhar, 68, both of Cornwall, Ontario
- Jagjeet Deol, 50 and Charanjit Kaur Deol, 50, both of Caledon, Ontario
- Gurvinder Singh, 55, of Laval, Quebec
- Gurpreeet Singh, 33 of Saint Eustache, Quebec
All six have been released from custody and have made their initial appearances before the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa.
"The focus of this lengthy investigation has been public safety," said Detective Inspector Daniel Nadeau, OPP Criminal Investigation Branch. "Tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles can be deadly in the hands of those with little or unapproved training."
Findings of the investigation, including details on the 200 students identified, have been shared with the Ontario Ministries of Transportation and Colleges and Universities.
Details on the Sûreté du Québec investigation can be found here.