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Minister's assistant, 7 others charged with drug offences
    #3147182 - 09/17/04 05:32 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)


Minister's assistant, 7 others charged with drug offences
Investigation of David Basi led to the 2003 raid at the legislature

September 16, 2004

A former assistant to Finance Minister Gary Collins and another man connected to the federal Liberals are among eight people charged Wednesday with drug trafficking offences involving marijuana and cocaine.

Udhe Singh (David) Basi was fired from his $67,000 job immediately after a police raid on his legislature office last Dec. 28, when the public first became aware of the drug investigation.

He has been charged with production of marijuana and possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. Police allege the offences occurred between March and December last year.

Last December, police raided a marijuana-growing operation in a Vancouver Island home owned by Basi that was rented to tenants. Basi's lawyer said at the time that his client was unaware that pot was being grown in the home.

Basi has been a strong supporter of Prime Minister Paul Martin and worked as an organizer for Martin's leadership campaign. Also charged with conspiracy to traffic marijuana are Jaspal (Tony) Singh and Mandeep Sandhu.

Sandhu is a cousin of Victoria police Const. Ravinder Dosanjh, who was suspended with pay last Dec. 15 in connection with the investigation.

Sandhu and Dosanjh co-owned a Victoria rental property. Real estate records list Sandhu's occupation as a courier.

Sandhu's sister is married to Amar Bajwa, another Martin leadership campaign organizer who now is an aide to Joe Volpe, the federal minister of human resources. Bajwa was known as one of "Basi's boys."

When Sandhu's home was raided by police last Dec. 9, he was on the executive of the Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca federal Liberal riding association, having been hand-picked by Basi at the annual general meeting Dec. 7. He was later disqualified because he wasn't a Liberal party member.

Sandhu's sister is married to Amar Bajwa, an adviser to federal Liberal minister Joe Volpe.

In Ottawa, Premier Gordon Campbell said he's looking forward to the case being resolved.

"Everyone's innocent until they're proven guilty. This has obviously been a very difficult thing for Mr. Basi and you know, I am like everyone else. I'd like the matter to be resolved.

"I've said all along if charges should be laid they should be laid. They should be prosecuted and if guilt is found then punishment should be meted out."

Also charged Wednesday with conspiracy to traffic cocaine were John David Scallon and Michael Timothy Doyle, both in their 30s. Doyle used to live in the 3400-block of West 10th Avenue in Vancouver and Scallon lived in an apartment in the 2300-block of York Avenue.

Scallon is also charged with conspiracy to traffic pot between September and December 2003, along with Jasmohan (Jas) Bains of Victoria, Brahm Mikol of Toronto and Arianna Blythe Vernon, 25, of Scarborough, Ont.

Before his arrest Wednesday, Michael Timothy Doyle was already facing charges in Vancouver on two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

According to court documents, Doyle and co-accused Bryan Murray Rutherford allegedly possessed more than three kilograms of marijuana and an unnamed quantity of psilocybin ("magic" mushrooms) in April 2003 for the purpose of trafficking. Rutherford was also charged with trafficking marijuana.

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