The Royal Canadian Mounted Police served a search warrant on Royal Group Technologies Ltd.'s main banker Feb. 1 to fill in gaps in a fraud investigation.
RCMP set up a mobile command post before dawn outside Bank of Nova Scotia's head office in Toronto's financial district. At 9 a.m. a team of 25 RCMP investigators and support personnel swarmed the bank to collect evidence of possible fraud by Royal Group as far back as 1996. Toronto Police were on site to ease traffic flow around the RCMP command post in the congested area.
RCMP spokesman Tim Cogan said the search warrant is valid for 60 days, but he did not predict how long the search would take. The search relates to an ongoing criminal investigation that RCMP is conducting on the financial activities of the pipe and profile extruder and some individuals. Cogan said the search warrant seeks documents not delivered to RCMP under production orders valid last fall. He said he could not speculate why the documents were not delivered earlier in the RCMP probe.
Royal Group spokesman Richard Wertheim said the firm had little to say about the bank raid.
``We're just a bystander,'' he said in an interview. ``This is just a different approach [by RCMP] in a process going on for about a year. There are no new charges [against Royal or its officials].''
RCMP's Integrated Market Enforcement Team is conducting the search and criminal investigation. IMET was set up in late 2003 to help deter fraud and theft in Canada's financial industry.
Cogan said in a telephone interview that a command post on site provides a secure base to conduct a search with minimal disruption to the company being searched. It boosts efficiency in handling a large amount of evidence.
RCMP is investigating possible fraud involving Royal Group founder Vic De Zen, former Chief Executive Officer Douglas Dunsmuir, former Chief Financial Officers Gary Brown and Ronald Goegan, and two founding directors, Domenic D'Amico and Fortunato Bordin. It also is looking at transactions between Royal Group and a luxury resort on St. Kitts majority owned by De Zen.