The exterior of Remorquage Taxi Montréal. A total of 18 employees of the business have been arrested.
The exterior of Remorquage Taxi Montréal. A total of 18 employees of the business have been arrested.

Montreal, Quebec -- June 9, 2016 -- A number of employees of Montreal-based towing company Remorquage Taxi Montréal are facing criminal charges after the Montreal police’s anti-gang squad conducted a raid on the company’s St-Michel office. Raids were also conducted on the South Shore and in Laval.

The arrests were made in Montreal, Laval, Longueuil and Chateauguay after police carried out 23 search warrants. Criminal charges have been laid against 18 people. The charges include demanding cash payments from drivers and illegally towing cars from parking lots.

A statement from Commander Nicodemo Milano of the police’s anti-gang unit says that 200 motorists were victims of theft, fraud and extortion between 2014 and 2016, as reported by the Montreal Gazette.

According to police, drivers would tow cars from area parking lots and post yellow signs nearby. The signs would indicate that the car had been towed and provide the company’s name and phone number. When motorists called the number provided, an employee of the company would demand a payment of at least $65 to reveal where their car was parked.

“Some of the car owners were threatened to make sure they would pay,” Milano said, as reported by the Montreal Gazette.