Charges laid against former B.C. political aides

Two former B.C. ministerial aides charged Tuesday with fraud, bribery and breach of trust.

Two former B.C. ministerial aides have been charged with demanding benefits in connection with government business, breach of trust and two counts of fraud over $5,000.

Police laid the charges on Tuesday against David Basi, who worked as an aide to former cabinet minister Gary Collins, and Bob Virk.

In September, Basi was charged with marijuana production and trafficking following a police search of a rental home that he owned.

Basi was working as Collins' aide when police raided the B.C. legislature Dec. 28, 2003, taking away dozens of boxes. He was later fired and Bob Virk was suspended with pay.

That raid was connected to a Victoria police and RCMP investigation into the drug trade and organized crime.

Information contained in the nine search warrants has been ordered sealed by the court.

What is known is that Basi and Virk allegedly traded government inside information on the privatization of B.C. Rail for job recommendations with the federal Liberal government.

Basi's lawyer, Michael Bolton, says the charges are unfounded, and his client will defend himself vigorously.