A band of scumbag Moving Companies have been terrorizing Torontonians with a horrible scheme whereby they take an initial deposit for moving you, and then hold your belongings hostage for huge additional expenses once they get to your destination. If you decline, they charge you to take your stuff back. So either way, if you don't pay more, you don't get your stuff.
And until the Toronto Star did an investigative report on it, the Toronto Police did nothing about it. In fact, they were taking the side of the Moving Companies.
For me personally, this hits a certain nerve because these scumbags pulled this move on my father when he was moving my grandmother's (his mother's) belongings after she passed away. He gave them an upfront deposit, they moved the stuff into the truck, drove to the destination, and then refused to empty the truck until additional expenses were paid. They were asking literally for hundreds of extra dollars, and my Dad therefore had to refuse them. When they threatened to keep the stuff, he told them to go ahead. Most of the critical personal items had been moved earlier in the week, and all that remained was some furniture that he was going to store in the garage.
Eventually they came to a more reasonable payment agreement and they finished the move, but my Dad was forever scarred by the experience.
Anyway, the Toronto Star reported today that these guys have finally been shut down by the Toronto Police after a 3 month investigation and countless complaints from the public and the media.
Here's the story from the Toronto Star:
Police shut down moving company, arrest owners
Desi Movers and its 18 aliases are currently out of business. Their trucks have been impounded, their offices raided and their owners arrested.
Syed Altaf Hussain, the 57-year-old Scarborough businessman behind the complaint-plagued moving company spent last night in police custody while his two sons, four of his drivers and their dispatcher sat in cells nearby. Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of a fifth driver connected with the company.
In total, they face 160 charges including numerous counts of fraud under $5,000, extortion, possession of proceeds of crime and mischief.
In the Star’s investigation, many victims said they had been frustrated by police inaction during their moves. In some cases, victims called police who showed up during the moves but did not intervene because the company’s contract stated — in small print — that excess charges might apply.
“At face value it looks like a civil dispute,” Const. Tony Vella said Thursday of the initial inaction. “But it’s a lot more complicated than that.”
Police now say customers were subjected to bully tactics to hand over money.
Police allege the accused were netting a profit of $1 million a year, yet some were still claiming welfare.
Charged are Syed Altaf Hussain, 57, owner of Elizabeth Movers, Comfortable Movers and Masters Movers and Storage. Also charged are Hussain’s sons Arif Adnan Syed, 27, (owner of Desi Movers, Dynamic Movers, Dynamite Movers, Family Movers, Indo-Pak Movers, Master Movers, Supreme Movers, and Pacific Van Lines Moving Inc., etc.) and Syed Amit Monwar Hussain, 29, (owner of Xpress Movers and A1 Xpress Moving Inc.). The companies’ dispatcher, Vanessa Longhurst, 38, has also been charged as have four of the companies’ drivers: Syed Tamim Rejw Hussain, 25, Clyde Alen Muffty, 34, Scott Paul Slater, 31, and Joseph Lima, 22.
Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of a fifth driver, Jimmy Roland Veilleux, 35.
As much as I'm happy about this news, I still know that there are countless other copy-cat moving companies doing the exact same thing. Hopefully the Toronto Police realize that, and will continue to work to crack down on these criminals.
Screenshots of Ads from http://www.yellowpages.ca/bus/Ontario/Desi-Movers-Inc/6274492.html on YellowPages.ca