Following an extensive wire-tapping investigation, police on Friday swooped on 23 people accused of being part of the crime group, including ringleader Balwinder Dhaliwal, an alleged criminal mastermind known as the “King of Car Thieves”.
Dhaliwal’s wife and 30-year-old son were among those arrested. More than 137 charges have been laid against the group, the Toronto Star reported.
“If there was a profit to be made by this group, this group would jump on the opportunity,” Detective Sergeant Paul LaSalle from York Regional Police said.
Police originally began investigating the group over a single car theft and eventually uncovered a tangled web of criminal activity.
It’s alleged the group stole expensive cars — including Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Porsches, BMWs and Lexuses — by breaking into homes to snatch keys. They then tampered with the cars and created phony paperwork to make it appear they had been imported from the United States.
Det Sgt LaSalle said the ring was also connected to cargo theft, including the entire truckload of Nutella.
“Yes, I said Nutella,” he said.
Police said they also found drugs, firearms and cash during their investigations, and uncovered a kidnapping plot and plans to commit insurance fraud.
“I’ve never seen an investigation that did spiral into so many directions,” said Det Sgt LaSalle.