image.jpg

The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) auto crimes unit has arrested a 39-year-old Calgary man accused of trying to fraudulently buy a vehicle from a city car dealership.

Police say a suspect was allegedly attempting to purchase a $45,000 luxury vehicle using forged identity documents.

Employees at the dealership became suspicious of the transaction and contacted police, and a suspect was arrested on Oct. 26.

“This activity is consistent with organized auto crime and specifically straw-buyers purchasing vehicles and turning them over to organized crime for resale, or shipment overseas,” said ALERT Staff Sgt. Kristie Verheul of the auto crimes unit.

"Straw purchases of vehicles are often used to launder proceeds of crime."

Sanjeev Satkunarajah, 39, is charged with identity fraud and uttering forged documents. Police say he was also wanted on several warrants originating from Airdrie RCMP.

An associate of Satkunarajah’s was also arrested for possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine, however charges have yet to be laid.

The ALERT auto crimes unit is a "new joint-forces initiative aimed at disrupting organized auto theft in the province," police said in a release.

"The unit uses available intelligence to execute complex investigations into high-level groups."