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Kidnapping, Blackmail, Heroin: A Guide to the Latest Allegations in the Rob Ford Investigation

A timeline of the latest revelations in police documents regarding the mayor.

In a press conference on November 5, Rob Ford tried to put his admission that he had smoked crack behind him, saying whatever it was he did would “never, ever, ever” happen again.

The courts have released the major remaining portions of a 472 page police document connected to investigations into Rob Ford, the video he infamously stars in, and repeated attempts by various parties to obtain it. Here is breakdown of what, exactly, the previously redacted passages from the document contain—

All quotes are from the police document, called an Information to Obtain (ITO), which was used to outline the case against Rob Ford’s friend and occasional driver, Alexander Lisi, and to obtain a search warrant. These recently released portions summarize intercepted phone calls between dozens of people, as well as police interviews with the mayor’s former staffers. None of the details contained here have been tested in court.


The Key Individuals

Siyadin Abdi: charged with gun trafficking and participating in a criminal organization as a result of the Project Traveller investigation.

Elena Basso (aka Princess): one of the residents of 15 Windsor Drive, a home near Rob Ford’s residence which police believe to be a crack house. She has been previously convicted on cocaine trafficking charges.

George Christopoulos: the mayor’s former press secretary. He resigned on May 27.

Mohamed Farah (aka D): referred to in many media reports as the “video broker,” he was acting as a go-between connecting Mohamed Siad to Gawker and the Toronto Star.

Abdullahi Harun: currently facing multiple drug and gun charges in connection with Project Traveller, Harun is a second man believed to have been involved in the efforts to sell the Rob Ford video.

Alexander (Sandro) Lisi (aka Dro): a good friend of the mayor’s, Lisi also served as his unofficial driver. Lisi now faces multiple drug charges and a charge of extortion in connection with alleged attempts to retrieve the Rob Ford video.

David Price: an old friend of Doug Ford’s, Price was hired by the mayor to serve as his director of organization and logistics. As of council’s vote to strip the mayor of much of his budget and reallocate staff to the deputy mayor, Price no longer works at City Hall.

Mohamed Siad (aka Gotti): facing gun and drug trafficking charges in relation to Project Traveller; also an alleged Bloods member. He is the man who showed Gawker and the Toronto Star the Rob Ford video and try to sell it to them.

Liban Siyad (aka Gully): currently facing charges for participating in a criminal organization as a result of Project Traveller, and another one of the people who had access to the video.

Anthony Smith (aka Grenades or Buck): an alleged Dixon City Bloods gang member who was murdered on March 28. Mohamed Siad and Mohamed Farah are both believed to have been friends of his.

Mark Towhey: Rob Ford’s former chief of staff. He was fired—reportedly after asking the mayor to seek help for substance abuse problems—on May 24.


Timeline of Events

MARCH 18
10:16 p.m.: Siyadin Abdi calls Rob Ford’s office. There is no answer, and during police questioning Abdi “has no explanation for this call.” [Information obtained from phone intercepts; p. 88]

MARCH 26
The Toronto Star reports that Rob Ford had been asked to leave a high profile event—the Garrison Ball—a few weeks prior, due to his intoxication.

MARCH 27
1:16 p.m.: Siyadin Abdi calls Mohamed Siad. “Abdi said that their friend (believed to be Mayor Rob Ford) is on TV again. They talked about Ford going to a party and getting kicked out because he was intoxicated. They then discussed plans to sell the tape. Siad said ‘Remember the day he said that in front of me?’ Abdi replied ‘Ya, he said I’ll give you five thousand and a car. What the fuck is that?’ Siad said that he is going to meet him and ask for ’150′ [police believe this means $150,000]. Abdi said the video could be sold to both the Star and the other website. Siad said he preferred going to him [believed to be Rob Ford] personally. Abdi told Siad that would not be wise, as Siad would be putting himself in jeopardy. At the end of the discussion Siad said he does not want to go to the media but he would rather just see him [again believed to be referring to Ford]. He says he’ll ask for 100 or 150.” [Phone intercepts; pp. 363-364]

APRIL 20
12:52 a.m.: Liban Siyad calls 15 Windsor Drive and speaks to a woman “believed to be Elena Basso” and she “stated that Rob Ford was at her residence. She told Siyad to come over and he agreed.” [Phone intercepts; p. 15]

12:54 a.m.: Abdullahi Harun calls Liban Siyad and tells him “to go to [Elena Basso]‘s house because Rob Ford wants some drugs.” [Phone intercepts; p. 15]

2:18 a.m.: Liban Siyad calls Abdullahi Harun. Harun says that “he had Rob Ford smoking on the ‘dugga’. He said he has so much pictures of Rob Ford doing the hezza. ['Dugga' and 'hezza' are slang for marijuana and heroin, respectively.] Siyad told him to take a picture of that because of what it would be worth. Harun says that the picture did not go through.” [Phone intercepts; p. 65]

5:51 a.m.: Liban Siyad calls an unidentified person and speaks to them for nearly 58 minutes. During the course of the conversation “Siyad says that the mayor of the city Rob Ford was smoking his rocks today. Siyad advised that he was at [Elena Basso]‘s house and that he will put a picture up on instagram.” [Phone intercepts; p. 65]

11:37 a.m.: Sandro Lisi calls Liban Siyad and introduced himself as someone who was at Elena Basso’s house the night before. Lisi “accused Siyad and his friend of stealing the mayor’s phone. [Lisi] explained that Rob is freaking out because he needs his phone. Siyad said he would get in touch with his friend and get the phone back. Lisi threatened that if he did not get the phone back that the mayor would put the heat on Dixon.” [Phone intercepts; p. 16]

12:21 p.m.: Sandro Lisi calls Liban Siyad. “Siyad tells Lisi that nobody has his phone and to ask Fab [believed to be Fabio Bassio, also a resident of 15 Windsor Drive]. Lisi advises that he doesn’t care and will see Siyad in a few minutes.” [Phone intercepts; p. 66]

1:01 p.m.: Liban Siyad calls someone only identified as “Juiceman”; they discuss “how to explain how they got that phone.” The phone gets passed to another man who continues speaking with Siyad; that man “tells Siyad to make sure that he makes it clear when he gives the phone back that it’s not because of the cops. Siyad advises that he didn’t like being threatened and that they have a picture of Rob Ford on a pipe. The other male advises that they love and respect Rob Ford but they have Rob Ford on a lot of fucked up situations and they don’t wanna say anything.” [Phone intercepts; pp. 66-67]

1:22 p.m.: Sandro Lisi calls Liban Siyad. Siyad “stated that he has the phone for him. [Lisi] said he will give him some marijuana. They agree to meet at a Country Style Donut shop.” [Phone intercepts; p. 16]

4:02 p.m.: Liban Siyad calls 15 Windsor Drive and speaks to a woman believed to be Elena Basso. “Siyad told Basso that Ford found his phone and he had it back.” [Phone intercepts; p. 16]

5:31 p.m.: Liban Siyad calls an unknown man and speaks to him “about receiving marijuana from Rob Ford’s security guard/driver.” [Phone intercepts; p. 16]

MAY 16
Gawker and the Toronto Star publish articles in which they describe seeing a video of Rob Ford smoking what appears to be crack.

MAY 17
12:47 a.m.: Mohamed Siad calls his younger sister, Najma Siad. “[Mohamed] Siad asks about the phone, advises that it’s in a red pencil case, and says take it out and hold it for him.” [Phone intercepts; p. 62]

Approximately 8 a.m.: David Price is in the vicinity of the mayor’s house to pick him up for an official event—the PFLAG rainbow flag-raising ceremony at City Hall. He receives a call from an unknown man “who advised him he had information about the drug dealers that had this tape. He was given some names and an address of 320 Dixon Road.” [Information obtained interviewing David Price, pp. 31-32]

Approximately 2 p.m.: Price receives a second call; he believes it is from the same man. The caller gives Price phone numbers for two men: ‘Gotti’ and ‘D’ [believed by police to be Mohamed Siad and Mohamed Farah, respectively]. The caller tells Price that the apartment where the video is being kept is “a drug house” and that Gotti and D “do not own the unit but are associated to it…it’s a place where Gotti and D deal drugs out of.” [Price interview; p. 32, 34]

5:33 p.m.: David Price calls Mark Towhey and tells him about these conversation. Price tells Towhey that his informant “said it was Somali drug dealers who had it.” Later in the conversation Price tells Towhey that “the cell phone containing the recording of interest belonged to the deceased (Anthony Smith) and that it was the motive for his murder.” At that point Towhey told Price that he would be calling police to pass this information along, and also “directed Price not to disclose any of the information to the mayor.” [Information obtained interviewing Mark Towhey; pp. 29-30]

Approximately 6:30 p.m.: David Price calls Doug Ford to tell him about his conversations about the video. [Price interview; p. 34]

Unknown time: Rob Ford tells George Christopoulos “that he learned that the video that everyone was talking about, if it existed, might be at the address 320 Dixon Road.” The mayor didn’t tell Christopoulos how he learned this, and Christopoulos passed the information on to Mark Towhey. [Information obtained interviewing George Christopoulos on June 18; p. 46]

The mayor had told Christopoulos that he “had lost his phone back in April or May… He indicated that he lost it when he was in Colonial Samuel Smith’s Park in Etobicoke doing a clean-up… He later mentioned that he got the phone back. It was lost from Saturday until Monday or Tuesday.” [Christopoulos interview; p. 51] Police subsequently note that their intercepts “contradict what Mayor Ford told Christopoulos. [p. 55]

MAY 18
Police interview both David Price and Mark Towhey, who summarize the events of the previous day. During his interview Price tells police that he “feels that Councillor Doug Ford and Mayor Ford are not on speaking terms right now and feels that the mayor does not know this information.” [Price interview; p. 34]

Police further note that during his conversations with the unknown man “Price was not told why [Anthony Smith] was murdered.” It is not clear how Price arrived at that conclusion. [p. 33]

According to police analysis, the theory that Anthony Smith was murdered because of the Rob Ford video “is not correct, based on previous interceptions relevant to the murder of Smith.” Phone intercepts “revealed the murder may have been retaliation for Smith and his associates robbing” another man named Saaid Mohiadan. [p. 30 and p. 14]

MAY 30
Unknown time: A man called Abdinaim Hussein calls Siyadin Abdi. During that call Abdi tells Hussein that he and a man named Ahmed Farah “kidnapped” Mohamed Siad for an hour on the previous morning. Abdi said that they “talked to Siad about ‘the video’. Siad was crying, saying that he destroyed the video and his family is in trouble. Abdi told Siad that if he saw him in Dixon he would kill him.” [p. 86]

7:58 p.m.: Phone intercepts capture a conversation between Ahmed Farah and Siyadin Abdi. “In this call they talk about kidnapping Mohamed Siad.” Also, in that call there is a reference of “Farah talking to Siad about the video of the mayor.” [p. 87]

JUNE 21
Police interview a man named Ahmed Dirie, a friend of Anthony Smith’s who was present when Smith was shot. Dirie is in police custody in connection with the Project Traveller investigation. Via phone intercept police have captured a conversation (date unknown) between Dirie and Abdullai Harun “about how the mayor’s driver [believed to be Sandro Lisi] told him that [Siyad] was ‘halal meat’.” Police believe ‘halal meat’ is slang for ‘dead meat’ or an instruction to kill someone. [p. 79 and p. 14]

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