Province tries to seize limo after alleged sex assault

The B.C. director of civil forfeiture has filed a suit against a limousine owner after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman inside the vehicle last month.

The suit, filed this week at the Victoria Law Courts, says Sukhwinder Bassarpuri is likely to use the limousine to commit further crimes if it is returned to him. The government wants the vehicle forfeited.

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The civil forfeiture office said Bassarpuri, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, owns Armani Limousine Inc. and is the operator of the 2007 Lincoln Navigator seized by the Vancouver Police Department last month.

“On Sept. 8, 2018, the VPD received a report of a female forcibly confined within the vehicle at a parking lot in the 600-block of Denman Street,” the lawsuit says.

It says police found the vehicle and “determined the female was incapable of providing consent to engage in sexual contact. The VPD determined that Mr. Bassarpuri had sexually assaulted the female.”

Bassarpuri has not been charged. Nor has he yet filed a statement of defence in the case against the civil forfeiture office. According to the online provincial court database, he has no criminal charges or convictions in B.C.

The civil forfeiture suit said that VPD officers “arrested Mr. Bassarpuri for sexual assault” and then searched the limousine.

They found bear spray, clear baggies that tested positive for cocaine, two razor blades and a hotel key card that also tested positive for cocaine, the suit says.

The director of civil forfeiture said Bassarpuri has a history of unlawful activity, including a sexual assault of a female passenger in a limousine he was operating in July 2013.

And “on April 27, 2018, the VPD was advised Mr. Bassarpuri had sexually assaulted a female in June of 2017,” the suit says.

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