Guelph, Ontario -- March 3, 2014 -- The owner and two employees of a shop in Guelph, Ont., have been charged in connection with four Safety Standards Certificates that are alleged to be forged documents.
The Safety Standards Certificates in question relate to taxicabs and limousines. Guelph Police Service is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Guelph Police Services Board Taxicab bylaw. This bylaw is in place to ensure that licensing, safety standards and codes of conduct are consistently applied to operators of taxicabs and limousines.
This bylaw requires that taxi owners present the Guelph Police Services Board with a currently valid Safety Standards Certificate for each taxi every six months.
Members of Guelph Police Traffic Services Unit participated in a taxicab safety initiative at the Clair Road Emergency Services Centre in November 2013. An investigation commenced following this initiative to validate a number of the submitted Safety Standards Certificates.
Safety Standards Certificates are required to be signed by both the authorized inspecting mechanic and the authorized licensee.
That investigation has revealed that four of the Safety Standards Certificates were Forged Documents in that they were signed by the inspecting mechanic when in fact he was not present for the inspections. The licensee also signed the documents known to him to be forged.
These documents were issued from a single auto collision business in Guelph. This business is licensed by the Ministry of Transportation as a Motor Vehicle Inspection Station and has been under investigation.
Three of the Safety Standards Certificates were tendered to the Guelph Police Service allowing the taxicab owners to continue to operate those motor vehicles as taxicabs.
One of those Safety Standards Certificates was also tendered to the Ministry of Transportation in return for a vehicle permit for a recently purchased car now being operated as a taxi cab.
According to a release from Guelph Police Service, the investigation has also revealed that all Safety Standards Certificates issued by the facility in question between early September and late December were in fact forged documents.
The Guelph Police Traffic Services Unit is being assisted in this extensive ongoing investigation by the Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario College of Trades, and the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council.
Sayid Zaid Naqawe of Guelph is charged with four counts of Forgery (Making a False Document) and six counts of Uttering a Forged Document.Naqawe is the owner of the collision repair business.
Sayid Ahmad Mahboobi is charged with four counts of Forgery (Making a False Document). Mahboobi is the licensed auto mechanic at the business.
Sayed Hashem Hashemi of Guelph is charged with three counts of Uttering a Forged Document. Hashemi is the apprentice mechanic at the business.
These charges are specifically related to the Safety Standards Certificates issued for three motor vehicles currently being operated as taxi cabs. Two of those cabs have been inspected by the Ministry of Transportation and remain in service.
The third cab has been taken out of pending expert examination by Ministry of Transportation investigators. The owners of the involved taxis were not aware that the documents provided to them were fraudulent.
This joint investigation is ongoing and additional charges pertaining to all Safety Standards Certificates issued during the previously identified time period are pending.