Toronto man charged in GTA extortion investigation

Toronto man charged in GTA extortion investigation
Toronto man charged in GTA extortion investigation

A 30-year-old man is facing 17 charges in connection with an ongoing racketeering investigation in the Greater Toronto Area.

Peel Regional Police (PRP) say they have investigated a number of related incidents that have occurred in the GTA since December 2023, including property destruction, threats and firearms-related offences.

On May 29, PRP’s 25-member Extortion Investigative Task Force (EITF) executed a search warrant at a Toronto home and arrested Jaskaran Singh.

He is charged with one count each of careless storage of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, knowledge of unauthorized possession of a firearm, occupant of a motor vehicle knowing there was a firearm, possession of a loaded prohibited/restricted firearm without a license and destruction over $5,000. The defendant is also charged with two counts each of extortion, unauthorized possession of a prohibited device, knowledge of unauthorized possession of a weapon and occupant of a motor vehicle knowing there was a prohibited device, as well as three counts of failure to comply with a court order.

Singh was held for a bail hearing and attended court in Brampton. He has since been granted bail and is currently on a conditional court order.

“We understand the impact these incidents have had on the victims and their families and see how deeply these incidents are felt in our community. We have taken immediate steps to mobilize the Extortion Investigative Task Force,” PRP Chief Nishan Duraiappah said in a press release.

“With the help of our community, we have made arrests and will continue to hold those responsible accountable. We believe there are more residents and businesses who may have been targeted.”

Duraiappah, who called the recent extortion attempts in the region a “disturbing trend,” urged any business owners and/or community members who may have been victims to come forward and talk to the EITF, which he said has investigated more than 50 extortion-related cases in the past seven months. In a video posted on social media, Duraiappah said South Asian businesses are being targeted in particular.

He said the task force has made 13 arrests and filed 83 charges so far, including racketeering, conspiracy, arson, weapons possession and violating court orders.

Detectives also seized several weapons and ammunition, 11 kilograms of crystal meth, six stolen vehicles worth $250,000 and $10,000 in currency derived from criminal activity.

This research is supported by the Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario, which is funded by the provincial government.

“Here at Peel (Regional Police) we take these incidents very seriously and we will do everything we can to arrest those who terrorize members of our community,” Duraiappah said.

Anyone with information or who has been a victim of an extortion crime is asked to contact PRP’s EITF Hotline at 1-866-966-0616 or [email protected]. You may also contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.