Extortion and obstruct justice charges against York Regional Police officer Sgt. Gurdeep Panaich have been withdrawn in court as the Assistant Crown Amber Lepchuk conceded that it was highly unlikely that the charges could stick. It didn’t meet the “criminal code standard.”
It may be recalled that back in March, the story broke about realtor Dale Mundi being a victim of extortion.
Inderjit “Vick” Bains, Zorawar Mahal, Surjit Brar along with Sgr Gurdeep Panaich were among facing criminal charges including extortion, criminal harassment and obstruct justice.
The investigation byPeel police began in February after Brampton real-estate salesman Dale Mundi told police that false information was being posted online that was affecting his personal and business life. They were patently false and when the persons behind the smear campaign contacted him and had set up a meeting, it was clear that he needed to pay a large amount of money to have the information removed. Dale Mundi contacted Peel Police.
While the four other men charged in this extortion case appear in court next week, Panaich has now been exonerated of all charges. Following the serious charges laid against him, he was suspended from his job pending the outcome of the charges. He expects to return back to his job soon.
Panaich has been with York Regional Police since 2001 as a uniformed patrol officer before being assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit, the Mental Health Support Team and the Major Case Management Unit and was most recently stationed in Markham.
Until he was charged earlier this year, Panaich had a great reputation within and outside the South Asian community. In 2013, York Regional Police awarded him an excellence in policing award. His reputation has taken a beating but those who know him say he is a survivor who will claw his way back up.