Nine arrested in moving-company scheme – Globe and Mail

SARAH BOESVELD

From Friday’s Globe and Mail Published on Thursday, May. 20, 2010 9:16AM EDT Last updated on Friday, May. 21, 2010 8:26AM EDT

Leslie Nye had scoured online classified sites for a cheap, efficient, reliable mover and thought she’d hit the jackpot with one Toronto-based company.

Master Movers, she said, promised a seamless job done for just $500, a price that included insurance and a $180 flat fee to cover gas for the move from Toronto to London, Ont., where her husband, Steve Blakeney, lived.

Perfect, Ms. Nye thought.

The experience on moving day was anything but, she said. As soon as the movers arrived on Dec. 13, 2009, (half an hour late, she said), out popped all kinds of hidden costs – $30 for each time a mover carried an item down the stairs, she said. Then, she added, they charged extra for insurance and wouldn’t reconnect the couple with the person who had given them the original quote.

“At that point my husband turned to me and said ‘I think we’re going to be screwed.’ ”

When all of their items had been locked in the truck, she said the movers demanded about $1,460.

The company is among 11 named in a massive Toronto Police crackdown on moving companies in the Greater Toronto Area.

Early Thursday morning, police executed raids on homes and businesses they had targeted in a lengthy investigation into schemes in which movers allegedly defrauded clients and often held their belongings hostage.

They arrested eight men and one woman who face a total of 160 charges, many of them related to fraud.

During the raids, police seized 13 moving trucks, $20,000 in cash and two vehicles, including a 2004 Audi and 2001 Mercedes Benz.

Police are still hoping to arrest one man who had been in contact with authorities but refused to turn himself in, said Constable Tony Vella.

Companies allegedly involved are Indo-Pak Movers, Desi Movers, Supreme Movers, Comfortable Movers, Dynamic Movers, Elizabeth Movers, Pacific Van Line Moving Inc., Master Movers, A1 Express Movers and Xpress Movers, police say.

Calls and e-mails to Master Movers were not returned Thursday night.

In March, Toronto Police warned consumers to watch for companies that first quote a very low price, then have the client sign a contract on the day of the move.

If the client refuses to pay more, police said movers threaten to hold their belongings in storage or dump them in the street.

Ms. Nye said she was able to haggle the moving company down to about $1,300. After agreeing on that amount, she said the movers followed the couple in their truck as they got the money from the bank. Then the couple followed the moving truck to their home in London – just to make sure it arrived.

“The conversation between my husband and I on our way to London was ‘What can we do? They’ve got our stuff, they’ve got our money. We’re screwed,’ ” she said.

They reported it to police only on Thursday when they learned about the investigation, she said.

Many people don’t report being defrauded, said Constable Vella, because they’re embarrassed to not have heeded any red flags.

Ms. Nye said the whole experience made her feel “very stupid and naive.”

Charged are Syed Altaf Hussain, 57, Arif Adnan Syed, 27, Syed Amit Monwar Hussain, 29, Clyde Alen Muffty, 34, Scott Paul Slater, 31, Vanessa Longhurst, 38, Joseph Lima, 22, and Syed Tamim Rejw Hussain, 25, all residents of the Toronto area. Jimmy Roland Veilleux, 35, of Toronto, is wanted on fraud charges.

Police believe there may be more victims.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/nine-arrested-in-moving-company-scheme/article1575472/

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13 Responses to “Nine arrested in moving-company scheme – Globe and Mail”

  1. Movers Toronto Says:

    When I first heard this news I was extremely happy to hear that these scum-bags finally we’re brought to their knees as they did countless times to unsuspecting victims.

    I hope this sets a precedence for future raids of these small worthless operations.

    Companies like these are completely useless, they make customers believe they can complete a move for a ridiculously low amount of money, which is just not possible.

    I think the government should bring in some rules and regulations for movers of residential and commercial property, similar to what they have in place in some states in the US.

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. shelley Says:

    I think this guy calling himself Chris might be the one the police are still looking for .but here in pointe-claire quebec working under a new name and company called Royal1 469 Jean talon quest suite 411 montreal quebec h3n1r4 514-764-9697 or 514-243-3879 friends was quoted one price then 6 days before the move was told guy couldn’t do the mover at price but could do it for almost double the price want to bet there will be other charges before this move is done. anyone else here in montreal that this has happened to reply please. do these sound like the same guys from toronto

  3. Meme Says:

    That’s exactly what happened to me Shelley. I signed a contract and gave a deposit but when the day came to move me they showed up, looked around and said I wasn’t worth the job and they had something more important to do and left. I called 514-243-3879 and I don’t remember her name (secretary) said that I’m better off finding an other mover because to move unless I didn’t mind waiting until tomorrow and paying alot more.

  4. jamie Says:

    wow, all these bad stories about moving comapnies. you guys need to try roadrunners moving and storage, theyre in Toronto. if youre looking for professionalism and honesty from a moving company, theyre the ones to call. I used them for my last move and they were absolutely amazing! I hope theyre around for a long time becaise I will be using their services again. their # is 416 600 6061.

    J

  5. phil Says:

    I think the best way to find good movers is extensive research over the internet including reviews of past jobs, and how they stack up to there competition. Free classified ad services list 100’s of different moving services available within the GTA.

  6. Joseph Gold Says:

    I agree ,government should introduce a Iicence to be a mover,it will bring an order to this trader.

  7. movers review Says:

    People should be more careful when they hire professional help to move their house. When they discuss about the total cost to move they should have a written document proof signed personally by the person who discussed. There should be some kind of license to appropriate moving companies. Well, it is bad to read about these fraud companies cheating on people. It is good that the cops caught them.

  8. Toronto Movers Says:

    If you see a low price for 2 men and a truck , be alert it might be a bait and switch technic from unscrupulous movers .

  9. Orlando Movers Says:

    My goodness! Moving itself is a great headache and when it is accompanied with such a moving scam is even big nightmare. Lets hope this experience will help spreading awareness. Thanks.

  10. Mover Reviews Says:

    This is really bad. Some moving companies do things like that. After uploading & locking all the belongings of the client, they demand any amount of money. At that point clients surely feel very helpless. It is a good thing though, that some among these cheated people are going to the police. These kinds of frauds should be stopped.

  11. elbertlitchie Says:

    Moving from one place to another place with moving company it’s very easy for any customer.Moving company solve your company you have not get any problem. I recommended to all customer if they move then get the help of moving company.

  12. http://freespinsdirekt.se/ Says:

    Yoou have made some decent points there. I looked onn the internet
    ffor more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along wih your views on this wweb site.

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