Montreal, Quebec –June 23, 2017– Twelve people employed with Accès Remorquage, a Montreal-based towing company, were arrested over the course of three early morning police raids. Those arrested include owners, managers and several employees.
According to police spokesman André Durocher, the company would seize vehicles parked in violation of private or commercial rules. They would then refuse to return the vehicle until its owners paid them by cash or credit. Some customers claimed they faced violence and others were charged amounts that were higher than the allowable fee — which is about $100 plus tax.
“If someone came out and the company was starting to tow their car, they would refuse to release the car unless the owner paid immediately on the spot, and that’s illegal,” said Durocher.
He continued, (car owners, take note) “If you ask for your vehicle and a tow-truck driver refuses [and forces you to pay], call the police — they’re not allowed to do that, it’s theft.”
Those arrested are facing several charges, which include theft, fraud, extortion, conspiracy and armed assault.
The company, formerly known as Remorquage A9 was in the news last year after it was accused on questionable business practices, such as intimidation and threats. According to Quebec’s consumer protection office, Remorquage A9 was one of the top companies regarding complaints in Quebec. The province had issued the company a warning to correcting their business practices.