About eight Canadian Border Service Agency officers spent the day at a controversial landlord’s property Thursday executing an “enforcement action.”
Neighbours of the home of Vijay and Paul Singla, which doubles as the office of Singla Brothers Holdings, said CBSA officers arrived in the morning — about 10 a.m. — and were in and out of the Heather Road property until around 4:30 p.m.
Brent Hilton said he saw about eight officers and around four or five unmarked vehicles at the property going in and out of the house throughout the day. That account was confirmed by another neighbour, who said the officers were carrying computer bags with them as they went in and out of the house.
The purpose of the search was unclear, as CBSA communications would only confirm that the agency was “involved in an enforcement location at a location in Penticton.”
“The CBSA conducts enforcement actions where necessary for Customs Act or Immigration and Refugee Protection Act contraventions.”
Neighbours had little idea as to what the matter could have involved, as the Singlas tended to keep to themselves. One neighbour said she had seen some “weird cars” outside, including one large “military looking” vehicle, but was not aware of the CBSA action Thursday.
That neighbour said the Singlas, while reclusive, tend to have a lot of visitors who come and go for five or 10 minutes at a time, which she believes to be those who pay rent for Singla rental properties.
Singla Brothers Holdings, run by Paul and his brother, owns about 200 rental units from Penticton to Kelowna, according to its website.
Vijay is a Realtor in Penticton.
A daughter of the Singlas answered the door to the home, and said both Vijay and Paul were not at home at the time. She added that they would not be available for comment on Friday.