Three veteran OPP officers facing corruption charges tied to GTA towing industry
Three OPP officers are facing corruption charges in connection to allegations tied to the towing industry.
Two of the officers are assigned to the Highway 407 detachment. The third is with the Toronto detachment.
It was back in February 2019 that the OPP's professional standards unit got an internal complaint about the officers' relationships with some tow truck operators and alleged preferential treatment given to them.
It was also back in 2019 that violence in the ongoing GTA tow-truck turf wars began to escalate, with dozens of tow trucks set on fire and at least four men killed, as operators compete in the highly profitable industry.
This marks the third time in at least a year that police officers in Ontario have been charged with corruption offences connected to the towing industry.
In this latest case, three veteran OPP officers have been charged with "secret commissions and breach of trust contrary to the criminal code". They are:
52-year-old Provincial Constable Mohammed (Ali) Hussain, with the Toronto detachment, was arrested on Wednesday. He's been with the OPP for 24 years.
53-year-old Provincial Constable Simon Bridle, with the Highway 407 detachment was arrested on Thursday. In addition to the aforementioned charges, he's also facing an additional charge for obtaining sexual services for consideration. He's been with the service for 20 years.
An endorsed warrant has been issued for the arrest of 57-year-old Provincial Constable Bindo Showan, who is currently out of the province. He's also with the Highway 407 detachment and has been with the service for 20 years.
All three officers have been suspended with pay.
The cases continue and the allegations have not yet been tested in court.
A fourth person charged in this case, 52-year-old Sutheshkumar Sithambarpillay, a civilian from Toronto, has been charged with aiding and abetting breach of trust and secret commissions.
There are reports that he's the president of Steve's Towing.
Four other OPP officers, including two commissioned officers with the Highway Safety Division, have also been suspended with pay, as part of this ongoing criminal investigation. However, they have not been charged with an offence.
This latest probe into towing industry corruption comes as the province finalizes plans to overhaul regulations in the industry in order to address the ongoing violence.