Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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New court date set for fake truck driving school accused

Charges against four men accused of operating fake truck driving schools have been put over to May 3rd, 2023. On that day, a pre-trial hearing will commence in front of Justice Hoffman at the Ontario Court of Justice.

A paralegal representing Gurvinder Singh, 55, of Laval, Quebec; Gurpreet Singh, 33, of Saint Eustache, Quebec; Jagjeet Deol, 50, of Caledon; and Charanjit Kaur Deol, 50, of Caledon represented the men in a scheduling session on April 5th.

On May 18th, 2022, Quebec’s Economic Crimes Investigation Service, in collaboration with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), arrested 6 individuals from Montreal, Laval and Brampton, Ontario in connection with the production and the use of false documents. The documents allowed foreign clients to obtain driver’s licenses, including licenses to drive heavy goods vehicles.

The suspects allowed their foreign clients to obtain a class 5 (passenger vehicle) and possibly a class 1 (heavy goods vehicle) driver’s license from the SAAQ, using falsified documents.

Another scheme that was uncovered involved individuals operating unlicensed schools and delivering unauthorized training to students in Ontario and Quebec.

Gurvinder Singh, 55, of Laval, Que.; Gurpreet Singh, 33, of Saint Eustache, Que.; Mohammad Khokhar, 66, of Cornwall, Ont.; Jagjeet Deol, 50, of Caledon; Charanjit Kaur Deol, 50, of Caledon; and Hanifa Khokhar, 68, of Cornwall, Ont., were charged with fraud over $5,000.

In two of the cases, the accused pled guilty and were sentenced. On June 21, 2022, accused Hanifa Khokhar pleaded guilty to one count of fraud over. On the same date, the accused received a conditional sentence for 2 years less a day and probation for 12 months. The remaining counts were withdrawn.

 On June 21, 2022, accused Mohammad Khokhar pleaded guilty to one count of fraud over. On the same date, the accused received a conditional sentence for 18 months and probation for 12 months. The remaining counts were withdrawn.

“The focus of this lengthy investigation has been public safety,” said Detective Inspector Daniel Nadeau with the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch at the time of the charges in 2022. “Tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles can be deadly in the hands of those with little or unapproved training.”

“It’s a legal nightmare,” Philip Fletcher, President of the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario told Road Warrior News on March 28, 2023. “There is a large degree of fraud enacted in our segment of the industry at this particular time, both for airbrake certifications, as well as renewals. And obviously, in these cases, somebody is sidestepping every one of the many existing barriers and fabricating information to make it look legitimate.

TTSAO president Philip Fletcher. Photo: TTSAO

“There are so many hurdles required for any legitimate Trucking business to get over, I can’t believe that so many barriers would be bypassed in order to get the product of these fake schools on the road,” Fletcher says. “This case just gives a horrendous view of what may be occurring out on the roads and might explain some of the major problems we have these days.

“Our members meet the requirement for schools; the rigours of inspection and certification; requirement for licensing. Carriers have to see proof of license validation for any drivers that they hire. Obviously, in some cases, somebody is intentionally sidestepping every one of the legal requirements and fabricating information to make it look legitimate. It’s almost unbelievable.”