RCMP are being tight-lipped about an Osoyoos constable who is suspended with pay.
A former Osoyoos resident, Steve Condon, alleges he was set up to take the fall for two vehicles stolen last year. The rub, he said, is the suspended Osoyoos constable, Amit Goyal, owned one of the cars and had the other on loan. No charges have been filed against Goyal, Condon or anyone in relation to the stolen vehicles, according to RCMP.
“He accused me of stealing his Audi and a 2008 Ford Ranger,” said Condon of the vehicles which were reported stolen about a week apart.
Rumours spread quickly in the small community about Condon. Unable to handle the scrutiny any longer, he left Osoyoos for the Lower Mainland. In January 2013, he said, investigators from Trail flew to the coast to question Condon about the vehicle thefts and interviewed him at his job site after hours. About two months later, he was asked to meet with the investigators again, this time at the Burnaby detachment for three hours. In May, Condon said he passed a polygraph in the Langley detachment. Condon said he told RCMP the person they should be investigating is Goyal.
“It was my belief all along that he stole his own cars and he was in a financial bind,” said Condon.
Sgt. Mike Wicentowich in Trail said he could not provide a comment on the matter and deferred any questions to RCMP Southeast district spokesperson Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, who said he could not comment due to privacy issues.
Condon alleges he was harassed by Goyal on several occasions and now he is considering filing a lawsuit against the Osoyoos RCMP detachment.
“I haven’t yet, but I will be within the next month. He was an employee of the Osoyoos detachment,” said Condon. “I’m suing for the damages to me personally, the stress he put me through and that kind of stuff.”
Aaron Munro, a resident of Osoyoos and a heavy equipment operator in northern B.C., said he was also considered a suspect. He was contacted by the Fort St. John RCMP earlier this year.
“They first wouldn’t tell me what it was about, they just asked me where I was Oct. 30 last year and I proceeded to ask what it was about because I knew where I was,” said Munro. “About four or five days later I got another call from an officer and he told me I was a suspect in two vehicle thefts and he wouldn’t tell me whose vehicles they were.”
Munro contacted his lawyer and never bothered to speak with the RCMP again because he knew he did nothing wrong and the RCMP have not contacted him since.
“I heard a rumour it was Amit Goyal’s car. In a small town word gets around pretty quick,” said Munro.
RCMP E Division spokesperson Sgt. Rob Vermeulen told the Penticton Western News on Oct. 2 via email that Goyal was suspended with pay, but would not say why.
“If there was a criminal charge, we would pro-actively release that information,” said Vermeulen.
Coroborating Goyal’s absence from the detachment is an RCMP document obtained by the Western News which states all disputes regarding tickets issued by Goyal are not to be processed.
“Futhermore, any new ticket disputes that come into your office for this member please do not process them and cancel the ticket as he will not be available to attend court,” said the document, which is signed by the officer in charge of the Osoyoos detachment, Sgt. Kevin Schur.
Attempts to contact Goyal for a comment were unsuccesful.