British Columbia

Dealer who used cars to deliver drugs tries — and fails — to become a car salesman

Asif Aslam built secret compartments in cars to move drugs around before being busted in "Operation Monolith" five years ago.

Asif Aslam spent almost 3 years in federal prison for trafficking before being paroled

A convicted drug dealer who tried to become a car salesman in B.C. was denied his licence, largely because he once used cars to move his drugs around. (Shutterstock / KoOlyphoto)

A convicted drug dealer who has a history with gangs has lost his application to become a licensed car salesman in B.C. — largely because it was cars he used to shuffle drugs around.

Asif Aslam was busted for trying to send 1.7 kilograms of cocaine to Yukon in 2013. Before that, court documents show, he led a gang involved in the drug trade in Surrey, B.C. 

Court heard he had used to build secret compartments inside cars to hide his product.

Aslam spent just under three years in federal prison after the 2013 arrest. Now out on parole, he applied for his salesperson licence in B.C. earlier this year.

He was denied, mainly because he used cars to commit his crimes and, as described by a parole officer, can be "economical with the truth."

Another 'dealer' turns him in

Aslam was 39 when he was busted as part of "Operation Monolith" — one of the most significant organized crime investigations in Yukon's history.

Aslam and Matthew Truesdale, both of Surrey B.C., had arranged to send the cocaine north through a longtime Whitehorse dealer.

Yukon RCMP Cpl. Calista MacLeod stands with some of the cocaine, marijuana and firearms seized in Operation Monolith in 2013. (Heather Avery/CBC)

They didn't realize their dealer had recently become a police agent. That agent immediately turned the drugs over to the RCMP, who arrested Aslam and Truesdale.

Aslam pleaded guilty, served his time, returned to Surrey and applied to become a car salesman in May. 

Truesdale also spent two years and 10 months behind bars.

'Economical with the truth'

As part of his application, Aslam had to go through hearings with the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C. (VSA). The authority's registrar would decide whether he would make a suitable salesman.

An RCMP officer and Aslam's parole officer spoke at the hearings. The latter said Aslam had already been buying rundown cars for a few hundred dollars and flipping them for up to $7,000 each — income he initially failed to report, which he is supposed to do under his parole conditions.

The parole officer — who described Aslam as being "economical with the truth" — also said Aslam might still be a target for gang violence.

In explaining why he denied Aslam's application, registrar Ian Christman listed a number of reasons for the rejection.

He said Aslam's past conviction — namely his history of building hidden compartments in cars for drugs — meant he couldn't be trusted as a salesman. Christman's ruling also noted how public car dealerships are, and how it would be unsafe to have someone who is the target of gang violence on the premises.

"If a person were the target of gang violence, anyone at a dealer's lot would be in danger," the decision read. "Protecting the safety of consumers and dealer staff is a concern for the registrar."

In rejecting Aslam's application, the VSA noted how public car dealerships are and how unsafe it could be to have someone who is a target of gang violence working on the premises. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Christman also said Aslam didn't seem remorseful for his crimes and there was no evidence he'll be rehabilitated.

Aslam won't be able to reapply for his licence unless he can prove he's remorseful, rehabilitated, trustworthy and no longer a threat to those around him.

He can try again in seven years.