In March 2015, York Regional Police Sgt. Gurdip Panaich along with two other men were arrested briefly on charges of extortion and obstruction of justice.
The charges were dropped a few months later, but Panaich said the damage was already done.
Panaich said his family suffered as well. His two sons were taunted at school, with kids teasing them about their father being a “criminal rather than a cop,” according to Panaich.
Panaich, who has also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, was also suspended for a short time from the YRP.
This week a report from the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), which investigates complaints against Ontario police, said it found evidence that a Peel Regional Police detective conducted a “biased” extortion investigation against Panaich, civilian Surjit Brar, and Surjit’s brother, York Const. Sukhdeep Brar.
All this began back in 2014 when real-estate broker Dale Mundi approached police alleging he was being defamed by a website.
According to a statement of claim filed by Panaich and the Brar brothers in 2014, Mundi and Surjit Brar met with a person claiming to have evidence linking Mundi’s employee to the website.
Mundi offered $25,000 for the evidence and asked that Surjit Brar hold the money as an independent third-party, the statement of claim said.
Brar then contacted Sgt. Panaich, who worked with his brother for the York police, to tell him about this alleged deal, the statement of claim reads.
The Statement of Claim said that Panaich and Const. Brar attempted to dissuade Surjit Brar from becoming involved in the matter.
The claim alleges Mundi later met with Peel Det. Robert Crane and Mundi claimed the man who had demanded $25,000 in exchange for the evidence could get away with extortion “because of their ties to the police,” the claim states.
Surjit Brar and Panaich were arrested in March 2015, according to the OIPRD, but the charges were later withdrawn.
Among the allegations from the OIPRD are that both Panaich and Brar did not have to be arrested and the media release that was fabricated should not have been sent out leading to the tarnishing of the reputation of both Panaich and Brar.
Panaich and the Brar brothers filed a $1-million lawsuit in 2016 over the investigation by Peel police. – CINEWS