Jasvindar Singh of Surrey charged in catalytic converter trafficking investigation

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Charges have been approved against a 50-year-old Surrey man Jasvindar (Jas) Singh after an investigation by Burnaby RCMP’s Prolific Offender Suppression Team (POST), which resulted in the recovery of 439 catalytic converters, the majority of which were believed to be stolen and destined for shipment to the United States.Burnaby RCMP launched an investigation into the rising problem of catalytic converter theft in the city in 2021.Like many communities across the country, Burnaby has seen an increase in the theft of these emission control devices due to the resale value of the metals they contain.ICBC estimates that in the first seven months of 2023 catalytic converter theft resulted in approximately $8.2 million worth of claims across the province. In 2022, Burnaby had an estimated 725 catalytic converters reported stolen.During POST’s investigation, dubbed Project E-Pagwa, a man who was allegedly knowingly purchasing stolen catalytic converters from property crime offenders across the Lower Mainland was identified.The accused ran a mobile metal recycling business which salvaged vehicles and legitimately shipped catalytic converters across the border in bulk.  However, he was also allegedly purchasing stolen catalytic converters and including them in the U.S.-bound shipments. On June 1, 2023, Burnaby RCMP executed search warrants at four locations linked to the accused, including his home, business, and an industrial works yard.In total, 439 catalytic converters, including 392 pre-packaged for shipment to the U.S., were seized. On May 31, 2024, the BC Prosecution Service approved the following charges against Jasvindar (Jas) Singh, 50, of Surrey, B.C.“The accused was alleged to be heavily involved in the purchase of stolen catalytic converters, resulting in the largest catalytic converter seizure our officers have ever seen,” said Sgt. Jamie Belleville, with Burnaby RCMP’s Prolific Offender Suppression Team. “This was a lengthy and complicated investigation that utilized a number of investigative techniques, including an undercover operation.”