Edmonton man gets vehicle back after it was held hostage for weeks over payment dispute

Anoop Manoj Kumar was reunited with his Mazda on Jan. 18, after it had been held hostage for weeks. (David Bajer/CBC - image credit)
Anoop Manoj Kumar was reunited with his Mazda on Jan. 18, after it had been held hostage for weeks. (David Bajer/CBC - image credit)

An Edmonton man whose vehicle was held hostage for weeks over a dispute between subcontractors drove it home to his north-side apartment on Wednesday night.

Anoop Manoj Kumar paid more than $1,800 in mid-November to have his 2009 Mazda Tribute hauled from Scarborough, Ont., to Edmonton.

He complained to CBC News earlier this month about the vehicle never being delivered.

He learned that the company he hired, Fyre Logistics, had subcontracted the job to another company, Mana Auto. A second subcontractor, G'S Auto Hauling, was holding his vehicle in Alberta over a payment dispute with Mana Auto.

Both companies claimed they were owed money. Fyre Logstics' account manager Fred Giguére threatened legal action against them if the compact SUV was not released within 10 days.

After CBC's story was published earlier this week, Manoj Kumar contacted G's Auto Hauling again and told them he was prepared to pay $1,200 to get the Mazda back. He didn't want to pay, but figured his transportation expenses would quickly exceed that amount if his family continued living without a vehicle.

David Bajer/CBC
David Bajer/CBC

In the end, the company released the vehicle on Wednesday night without demanding payment.

"I was just praying to God," he recalled.

Manoj Kumar said he understood G'S Auto Hauling's position and he appreciated that the company — more so than the two others involved — had expressed sympathy about his situation. G'S Auto Hauling did not respond to a request for a follow-up interview.

After being reunited with his vehicle, Manoj Kumar drove to temple with his family on Thursday and on Friday morning, dropped his wife off at work. She had been commuting via Uber since her office is an hour from home by public transit.

David Bajer/CBC
David Bajer/CBC

Though the vehicle is back in his parking lot, Manoj Kumar is still seeking compensation from Fyre Logistics for the expenses he incurred over the past two months. He estimates he spent about $2,000 on public transit, rental cars and replacing items stored in the vehicle.

Manoj Kumar said he has a lawyer and plans to file a claim in court against Fyre Logistics.

Giguére told CBC News by email that Fyre Logistics does not guarantee or compensate for any unexpected delays.

"We're happy that we have achieved the goal of our demand letter," he said.