Readers of The Islamic Globe will know that we have pursued the case of UM Financial while it was unfolding, largely thanks to the dogged coverage of Blake Goud, who managed to bring us unrivalled details of the bankruptcy as it was unfolding.
At times this read like a work of fiction and involved millions of dollars of gold being transferred between car trunks in the dimly lit car park of an Ontario pharmacy in the middle of the night – and protagonists catching hasty flights to Egypt.
It now seems that the law has caught up with both Omar Kalair and UM Financial and charges have now been laid in the UM Financial bankruptcy investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Both Omar Kalair and Yusuf Panchbhaya were told to turn themselves in to the authorities in Canada and while Panchbhaya complied, Omar Kalair remains at large and is now the subject of an arrest warrant.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police's GTA Financial Crime Unit, in collaboration with the Ontario Region Special Investigation Unit of the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, have charged both Omar Kalair and Yusuf Panchbhaya with offences under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Criminal Code.
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police:
“Omar Farooq Kalair, age 38, of Toronto and Yusuf Panchbhaya, age 55, of Mississauga have been charged individually and jointly with the following offences:
* s. 198(1)(a) BIA - Fraudulent Disposition of Bankrupt's Property
* s. 198(2) BIA - Failure to Comply with Duties of a Bankrupt
* s. 198(1)(b) BIA - Failure to Answer Fully & Truthfully
* s. 334(a) CC - Theft Over $5000
* s. 380 CC - Fraud Over $5000
* s. 462.31(1) CC - Laundering Proceeds of Crime
The charges are in relation to events surrounding the November 2011 bankruptcies of UM CAPITAL INC. and UM FINANCIAL INC. of Toronto.”
As readers of The Islamic Globe will remember, the allegations relate to the misappropriation of approximately $4.3m in mortgage payments received from Canadian Muslims, the purchase and disappearance of 32kgs of gold and silver bars and the abuse of the bankruptcy process.
According to the police the matter is scheduled for first appearance at the Ontario Court of Justice - Old City Hall courthouse in Toronto on 21 February 2014.
The police have also appealed that if anyone believes they have been a victim of this fraud, or if they know the whereabouts of Omar Kalair they should call the Ontario police at 1-800-387-0020 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.