Owners of Calgary, Alta., trucking company Lakha Trucking have been charged with insurance fraud after falsely claiming numerous truck thefts since 2009.
Authorities launched an investigation after noticing a significant number of the semi-trucks that were claimed to have been stolen were not being recovered. This, officers say, is rare, as nearly 90% of all stolen vehicles are found.
The investigation into Lakha Trucking revealed that each of the vehicles the company had reported stolen over the past decade were never missing, and it is alleged they made the false claims in an effort to receive an insurance payment. They then are accused of replacing the original vehicle identification numbers (VIN) on the trucks.
Calgary Police Services (CPS) says the company sold the re-vinned vehicles for profit, or used them to commit additional fraudulent claims. In some instances, the three accused of committing the crime received multiple insurance payments for the same vehicle by reporting it stolen under different VINs.
It is estimated the total financial gain of insurance payments and sales of the vehicles claimed to have been stolen- believed to be eight trucks – is more than $350,000.
“This is a concerning trend for many consumers who are facing high insurance premiums,” said staff sergeant Graeme Smiley of the CPS district support unit. “While a majority of the cases we have investigated center on high-value commercial vehicles, we know that these types of frauds are also happening with personal vehicles.”
As a result of the investigation, Lakhbir Singh Dhaliwal, 52, is charged with one count each of fraud over $5,000, uttering forged documents, public mischief, trafficking in stolen property, and tampering with a motor vehicle VIN.
Nasib Kaur Dhaliwal, 52 is charged with one count each of fraud over $5,000 and uttering forged documents.
And Baltej Singh Dhaliwal, 56, is charged with one count each of fraud over $5,000, uttering forged documents, and trafficking in stolen property.
Each of those accused are scheduled to appear in court April 9.