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Charges laid in vehicle cloning and insurance fraud scheme in Calgary

Duran Ross Buffalo, 36, faces a total of seven charges against him. File/Global News

Calgary police have charged a man in connection with a vehicle cloning and insurance fraud scheme worth $625,000.

Police said an investigation was launched in June 2017 when officers discovered a stolen Ford F-150 truck had been “re-vinned” and sold to an “unsuspecting customer” of Dave’s Auto Ltd. Re-vinning is a common method used to disguise stolen vehicles, police said.

The auto shop operates out of Bri-Tech Autobody Ltd. in the 4600 block of 6A Street N.E.

Investigators believe the suspect cloned the vehicle identification number (VIN) of a similar Ford F-150 that had been declared as salvage.

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Police said Tuesday the Ford truck wasn’t the only stolen car that had been sold to a customer.

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They also recovered a stolen Toyota RAV4 that had been re-vinned and sold from an Alberta numbered company that was also operating out of Bri-Tech Autobody Ltd.

Investigators allege the VINs of five luxury cars that had been purchased legally and shipped to another country were also used to obtain fake registration and licence plates.

Police said two of those licence plates and registrations were used on stolen luxury vehicles that were recovered in Ontario.

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Police allege both the stolen Toyota RAV4 and Ford-150 were also involved in an insurance fraud scheme.

They say someone posing as a previous owner would submit a fake insurance claim for the car and that Dave’s Auto Ltd. would then bill the insurance company for repairs that were never done.

Police allege the re-vinning and fraudulent insurance claims happened between August 2014 and June 2017.

Baltej “Dave” Dhaliwal, 54, is charged with three counts of fraud over $5,000.

 

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