ONTARIO’S Durham Regional Police constables Amandeep Thakur and Husen Aswat are among five people charged in a drug investigation in Ajax.

Incidentally, both these officers’ names appear on the province’s Sunshine List of public employees earning more than $100,000 per year.

The investigation began in the summer of 2016 when officers became aware of excessive alcohol serving and illegal drug transactions at the Black Bear Bar and Grill on Westney Road South in Ajax. As part of the investigation, it was determined two Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) officers from west division were associated with the owner of the establishment.

On Tuesday, September 12, the investigation, led by the Criminal Intelligence Branch and the Professional Standards Unit, resulted in five arrests related to the sale of marihuana and cocaine in connection with this establishment.

Thakur, 30, of west division, with eight years of service, has been charged with: theft under; two counts of breach of trust; and possession of property obtained by crime. He was held for a bail hearing and has been suspended from duty.

Aswat, 32, of west division, with nine years of service, has been charged with: seven counts of breach of trust; four counts of trafficking in substance schedule 1 (cocaine); three counts of weapons dangerous; theft under; possession of property obtained by crime; and three counts of proceeds of crime. He was held for a bail hearing and has been suspended from duty.

Three other persons have been charged as part of this investigation. All three were held for bail hearings: Rajalingam Varatharajan, 44, of Pickering, Kevin Chung, 34, of Toronto and Shaun Carter, 40, of Ajax.

Durham Regional Police Chief Paul Martin expressed his concerns over the charges and said they are not a reflection of the hard working and dedicated women and men of the DRPS.

He said: “Obviously it’s very concerning and disappointing when we find ourselves investigating our own employees. When we became aware of the possible involvement of our DRPS members, we conducted a vigorous investigation. No one is above the law and every one of our employees is accountable for their actions. I want to assure the community that this is not a reflection of our women and men who work so hard every day to uphold the law and keep our communities safe. We are sharing this information with the public, as we always do, in the interest of openness and transparency. We are committed to accountability and integrity as an organization.”

Anyone with new information about this investigation is asked to call Sgt. Walker of the DRPS Professional Standards Unit at 1-888-579-1520, ext. 4366.

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.

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