Auto Crimes Unit Stops Calgary Car Fraud

Calgary… ALERT’s Auto Crimes Unit has arrested a 39-year-old man for attempting to fraudulently purchase a vehicle from a Calgary auto dealership.

The suspect was allegedly attempting to purchase a $45,000 luxury vehicle using forged identity documents. The dealership became suspicious of the transaction and contacted police, who arrested the suspect on October 26, 2020.

“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 Staff Sgt. Kristie Verheul, ALERT Auto Crimes.

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

ALERT’s Auto Crimes Unit is a new joint-forces initiative aimed at disrupting organized auto theft in the province. The unit uses available intelligence to execute complex investigations into high-level groups.

Sanjeev Satkunarajah was charged with identity fraud and uttering forged documents. The Calgary man was also wanted on several warrants originating from Airdrie RCMP.

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

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.