Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The RCMP's gangster 'hit list'

Skelton, Lori Culbert and Judith Lavoie
Vancouver Sun and Victoria Times Colonist
September 10, 2004

The RCMP has compiled a secret "hit list" of B.C.'s 20 most dangerous crime bosses, a list it hopes will help it put more gangsters behind bars and strike a blow against organized crime in this province, a joint Vancouver Sun-Victoria Times Colonist investigation has learned.
And while the RCMP refuses to reveal the names of the individuals on its list -- for fear of tipping off potential investigation targets -- it will reveal which group it considers the province's biggest criminal threat: The Hells Angels.
OMG [outlaw motorcycle gangs] is the top," said Supt. Dick Grattan, head of the RCMP's criminal intelligence section in B.C.
Grattan said biker-gang members make up the largest proportion of people on the force's Top 20 list, an annual ranking known as the Strategic Threat Assessment that the Mounties in B.C. have been producing for the past few years.
Asian organized-crime figures make up the second-largest group on the list, followed by Eastern European gangsters.
"The Top 20 would be the ones who have the most influence over organized crime in the province," Grattan said.
Rick Ciarniello, spokesman for the Hells Angels in B.C., denied his club is a criminal organization and said if police had evidence that it was, more of his members would be behind bars. "If it were true, they'd be charging people," he said. "Normally, when [police] investigate criminal activity, they don't put it in the newspaper what they're doing. They just go out and gather the evidence and charge people. I wish somebody would charge me with something so I could defend myself in the court of law, where it counts, instead of being tried in the media, where they don't have any proof."
To prevent leaks, the RCMP's threat assessment has been closely guarded by the force.
Even senior organized-crime investigators in the province have only been allowed to review the list and have not been given their own copies.
According to police, the list represents a shift in the RCMP's approach to investigating organized crime. Until recently, said Grattan, the force was "commodity focused" -- measuring success by the volume of drugs it seized.
The problem with that approach, however, is that it often only ensnared the smaller players, leaving many of the kingpins untouched. The goal now, Grattan said, is for police to focus their investigations on the most influential and powerful crime figures, in the hope that putting such people behind bars will destabilize criminal organizations.
And while the RCMP doesn't have the resources to launch investigations into all 20 figures on its list, Grattan said investigations are underway -- or in the planning stages -- for at least half of them.
When the Mounties decided a few years ago to compile such a list, their first challenge was who to include. A preliminary list of all the known organized-crime figures in B.C. turned up 185 names, broken down into 85 separate groups -- some just small street-gangs of a few people each.
To winnow down the list, crime figures were ranked on 19 separate factors, including use of violence, infiltration into legitimate businesses and ability to corrupt officials. That combination of factors is what landed many of B.C.'s Hells Angels members in the Top 20. A heavily edited copy of the 2003 Strategic Threat Assessment, provided to The Vancouver Sun by the RCMP, indicates how high a priority the Angels have become.
"Within British Columbia, the influence attached to the Hells Angels organization and their symbols cannot be overstated," the report states. "Since their inception in 1948, the Hells Angels organization has evolved into a structure that is designed to facilitate and protect the criminal enterprises of its membership."
Insp. Andy Richards is a biker-gang expert with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, a group within the RCMP that's taken over many duties of the Organized Crime Agency of B.C.
Richards said what makes Angels membership so attractive to criminals is that the gang has a reputation in the criminal world for violence and power -- making it easier for members to collect drug debts and intimidate the competition.
While a gang member with a Hells Angels patch on his jacket may be an easier target for police than an Asian gangster, the association with the Angels is worth the risk, he said.
"It's the power of the patch. Once you have that patch, you have that standing out there in the criminal world that people are afraid of. Violence and intimidation is the gas that runs the engine of the Hells Angels."
A growing police fear is that the Hells Angels are infiltrating the quick-cash businesses, such as cheque cashing and money lending, although none are yet listed as owners of record.
In Vancouver and Kamloops, Hells Angels have bought cellphone stores and are rumoured to be setting up their own phone companies. In Kelowna, Hells Angels from around the Lower Mainland have large real-estate holdings and their business interests range from an up-market clothing store to a tattoo parlour.
Supt. Don Harrison, RCMP district officer of the south-east district of E Division, can drive around Kelowna, where he believes a Hells Angels chapter is about to open up, and point to expensive properties, brand-new condos and businesses owned by Angels. "These people are extremely well-organized. The profits they are making are enormous," he said.
However, while the Angels are powerful, police say they are not hierarchical in the same way as traditional organized crime, where everybody reports to a single boss. While each Angels chapter has a president who looks after club business, police say the criminal activities of the bikers are less formally structured.
"It's not like the Mafia, where everything goes to the top," Richards said.
He said Hells Angels members essentially run their own operations, with their own associates and underlings. "Once you're a full member, you're at the top, if you want to be, of your own little criminal enterprise," he said.
Richards said the Angels in B.C. have grown incredibly rich in recent years, in large part due to heavy involvement in the marijuana trade in the 1990s. "The Angels in B.C. were one of the very first groups to industrialize the marijuana business -- setting up and investing in multiple large grows and producing large shipments for export," he said. "The B.C. bud industry has made the Hells Angels, some of them, extremely wealthy."
But, as pot raids have increased, Richards said, some Angels have stepped back from growing marijuana and have taken on a greater role as brokers and middlemen, helping to ship marijuana into the United States.
One of the main reasons why the Angels are such a high priority for police is that their power and money has allowed them to infiltrate the legitimate economy. From supermarkets to clothing stores, the Angels have a stake in all kinds of businesses. Indeed, many people in B.C. regularly shop at Angels' businesses without even knowing it.
But nowhere is the infiltration of the Angels more apparent than at the ports.
Police in B.C. have often tried to play down the role of biker gangs at the Vancouver and Delta ports.
But The Sun has learned that a secret 2001 report by the Organized Crime Agency of B.C. identified by name five full members of the Hells Angels who work at the Vancouver and Delta ports, along with more than 30 known associates.
And in a speech to a meeting of provincial justice ministers in Vancouver in December 1999, Bev Busson -- then chief of the OCA, and now head of the RCMP in B.C. -- left little doubt about the influence of the Angels at the ports.
"[The] Hells Angels in B.C. . . . control much of the production and export of high-grade indoor-grown marijuana and the importation and distribution of cocaine," said Busson, according to a copy of her speech obtained by The Sun through an Access to Information request. "Millions of dollars change hands in this import-export business. Smuggling methods are diverse and include unchecked containers at the Port of Vancouver, an area under the control of the Hells Angels."
Insp. Doug Kiloh, the RCMP's major case manager at the ports, said he is aware of Hells Angels members working at the ports and said it is possible for anyone employed at the ports -- whether an Angel or not -- to commit crimes. But he played down the Angels' strength on the waterfront. "It's an unfair characterization to say that the Hells Angels run the ports," he said. "In my view, it's absolutely false."
Onkar Athwal, vice-president of operations for the B.C. Maritime Employers Association, said he's not aware of specific Angels members working at the ports, but it wouldn't surprise him. "I don't personally know of any individuals, but I am aware that there probably are some," he said.
However, Athwal disputed the suggestion that the Angels control activity at the ports. "I don't think they're controlling anything," he said.
Athwal said longshoremen are not subject to criminal-record checks or other background checks before working at the ports. However, Transport Canada has proposed new regulations that would require port workers -- like airport workers -- to be subject to background checks before working in restricted areas.
Public consultations on the new regulations -- known as the Marine Facilities Restricted Areas Access Clearance Program -- will begin Sept. 20 and the regulations will likely be implemented early in 2005.
Ciarniello denied five Angels members are working at the ports, saying he's only aware of two -- something he thinks shouldn't be an issue. "What is wrong with having a bloody job?" he said. "These guys are out there working. But because they're Hells Angels, you've got to put a twist on it."
Ciarniello added that people identified by police as "associates" may simply be friends of Hells Angels members.
"Being somebody who . . . knows the Hells Angels is not reason to assume that there is something criminal going on," he said.
After the Hells Angels, the second-highest organized-crime priority for the RCMP is Asian organized crime, which includes both Chinese and Vietnamese gangs.
Chinese gangs known as the Big Circle Boys are involved in a wide variety of activities, including drug importation and human smuggling -- but are also heavily involved in credit-card fraud and loan sharking.
Vietnamese gangs, on the other hand, are primarily involved in marijuana growing -- although they have recently begun to expand into methamphetamine labs.
Eastern European crime groups are a more recent phenomenon in B.C., but have grown steadily in the past 15 years, according to police. According to the RCMP's 2003 report, Eastern European gangsters are involved in a wide variety of illicit activities, "ranging from street-level theft and [drug] trafficking to sophisticated fraud and money-laundering schemes."
Eastern European crime groups have also been implicated in sophisticated debit-card scams.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the RCMP's Top 20 list, however, is the group that didn't make the cut: Indo-Canadian gangs.
In the past decade, more than 60 Indo-Canadian men in the Lower Mainland have been murdered in a wave of gang violence.
However, Insp. Wade Blizard of the RCMP's criminal intelligence section said that while Indo-Canadian gang members are extremely violent, they are considered by police to be far less sophisticated than other groups, such as outlaw motorcycle gangs or Asian organized crime.
Staff Sgt. Wayne Rideout, head of the RCMP's Integrated Homicide Team -- responsible for investigating many of the Indo-Canadian gang deaths -- said most Indo-Canadian gangsters are relatively small players in the drug trade, often only a few steps above street dealers.
"They're not the millionaire gangsters," said Rideout. "They don't appear to be into the huge shipments. They tend to be low- end. Most of the people we investigate have leased cars. They drive fancy vehicles, but they don't have any assets."
The closest comparison to Indo-Canadian gangsters, said Rideout, is the inner-city street gangs in Los Angeles. "They're drawn by the status," he said.
Rideout said police estimate there are 30 to 40 separate Indo-Canadian gangs in the Lower Mainland, each made up of about three or four key members and maybe a dozen associates.
For the most part, he said, Indo-Canadian gangsters don't have the money at their disposal to move up the drug-trade food chain. "They don't have the cash base to go out there and buy homes like the Vietnamese [gangs]," said Rideout.
Which means, he said, that while Indo-Canadian gangsters are often involved in ripping off growing operations, they rarely set them up themselves.
And many, said Rideout, still live at home with their families.
"They're all mama's boys," he said. "They live with their moms. Their moms wash their clothes. Their moms cook their meals. And they go out and commit murders and then come home."
The violence among Indo-Canadian gangs is also more sporadic than in other crime groups, said Rideout. While Asian gangs or bikers may carry out calculated hits or acts of extortion for economic reasons, many Indo-Canadian killings are over issues of pride or bravado, he said -- sometimes over something as simple as an insult.
"It's done more for passion than economics," he said.
Yet, despite their lack of sophistication, Indo-Canadian gangs are still a concern for police because their violence has greater potential to hurt innocent bystanders than the violence of other gangs.
"The bikers tend to take someone out in the bush," Rideout said. "But the East Indians want to let people know that they're capable of doing it, so they want to do it in the most brazen way possible."
That means shootings in clubs and restaurants -- or spraying homes with gunfire -- all of which increase the potential that innocent bystanders could get caught in the crossfire.
Rideout said police get reports of about three to four drive-by shootings a week in the Lower Mainland that are connected to Indo-Canadian gang violence. "It's miraculous that no one [innocent] has been shot in their bed," said Rideout. "It's going to happen. They're so unpredictable and bravado-driven."
Police admit that, in the past few decades, they haven't had as much success as they'd like in combatting organized crime.
The Mounties' own 2003 report cites an "historical failure" in gathering and distributing intelligence on organized-crime groups to front-line investigators. While police have gathered significant information on organized-crime figures, the report states, "little . . . has been recorded in a consistent manner or in a format and place accessible to intelligence personnel."
Richards admits the track record of police in B.C. is not great. "I've talked about the collective failure of law enforcement to recognize the bikers as an organized-crime threat," he said, noting the Angels arrived in B.C. in 1983. "They ran pretty much unfettered for a long time and became very well established."
But police are hopeful that things are beginning to change.
Police and prosecutors have racked up a handful of successful prosecutions against biker-gang members and Asian organized-crime figures in recent years -- such as the conviction of Hells Angels members Ronaldo Lising and Francisco Pires for cocaine trafficking in 2001.
And they are hopeful things will get better. "I've seen some slow and steady progress in the last few years," Richards said.
"We're beginning to see additional resources and manpower directed towards the fight against the bikers.
"I think we're beginning to get it right in B.C. I think it's becoming enough of a priority for enough people."

'A 10-year nightmare'

By Sylver McLaren

The first time Jagdeep Singh Mangat experienced the lure of a gang was at a school dance.
He was in Grade 8.
"These kids walked in and took over the dance, slapped kids around, slapped the principal around. It was the first time I saw the power of it and it set off a 10-year nightmare," said Mangat, speaking at the Caring For Our Youth symposium at Surrey's Stenberg College Saturday.
At 13 he began committing crimes. His tumultuous lifestyle came with a continuing cycle of self-destruction and ruthlessness. He went from ripping off kids to armed robbery and drug dealing, eventually spending a year locked in a 10-by-six-foot room.
"It was the first time I had to sit down and think. I asked myself: 'What the hell happened?'"
Now a 31-year-old SFU sociology student, he wants to know what kind of society breeds a criminal and what attracts people to gangs.
Fourth-generation Indo-Canadian Harjit Singh, a criminology graduate, said understanding Indian culture could provide insight into Indo-Canadian gangs, which are growing in number and becoming a major crime problem in the Lower Mainland.
Singh and co-author Darryl Plecas wrote a 300-page report describing the characteristics and development of Indo-Canadian gangs.
The Characteristics, Development and Activities of South Asian Gangs: An Exploratory Approach suggests Indo-Canadian gangs are unique and distinct and should not be compared to other minority or ethnic gangs.
For example, Singh said some youth at risk of joining Indo-Canadian gangs are newcomers to Canada, typically from large households in flourishing communities. Other ethnic or minority gang members tend to be poverty-stricken and from single-parent families.
Singh said some kids join gangs because they've been shunned by both Indo-Canadians and other ethnic groups and don't fit in to their new surroundings. Others are first-generation Indo-Canadians exploring the limits of freedom offered by the "Canadian way of life." And some are attracted by the idea of wealth.
Leadership within an Indo-Canadian gang is hard to define; the structure is loose and there are usually five to seven members. Singh added there about 1,500 Indo-Canadian gangs in the Lower Mainland.
Symposium speaker Wendy Taylor, who is working on her doctorate in criminology and has 25 years experience working with young offenders, proposed intervention strategies for home, school and in the community.
Taylor advised parents to take an active role in their children's lives - know their friends, listen to them and keep the lines of communication open.
Schools can offer a sense of belonging, Taylor said, by providing security and guidance.
"If youth find the acceptance and support they need at home and at school they will be less vulnerable to gang involvement."
Lastly, Taylor suggested the community provide youth-oriented and youth-led activities as well as safe places for youth to be with friends, organize community projects and educate everyone about the dangers of gangs.
As for Mangat's advice, he said: "Don't get into a gang. You'll end up dead, in jail or on drugs. You want that? You want to be a crackhead? It's a myth that you'll end up a high-roller."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Gangster gets 15-plus years for kidnappings, extortion

Judge delivers stiff penalty for brutal drug-related crimes

Convicted serial kidnapper Jethinder Singh (Roman) Narwal was sentenced to more than 15 years in jail Thursday in one of the stiffest penalties of its kind.
Narwal, 30, looked stone-faced as Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein read a series of varying jail terms for each of 13 counts related to three brutal drug-related kidnappings last year.
"These crimes occurred because the accused was involved in smuggling large amounts of drugs -- marijuana -- across the border," Stromberg-Stein said.
"The attitude of Mr. Narwal is particularly telling. He has demonstrated a pattern of criminality."
She said Narwal deserved "the high end of the scale," which was between the 15 and 20 years the prosecution requested.
Lead Crown counsel Joe Bellows said afterwards that the sentence will send a significant message to others involved in drug gangs.
"Clearly this kind of behaviour should not be tolerated and won't be," Bellows said, with prosecutor Mike Huot at his side.
"This probably is the longest sentence imposed in British Columbia [in a kidnapping case]."
But Narwal lawyer Matthew Nathanson said there have been many longer kidnapping sentences handed down in other cases.
He noted that the longest individual kidnapping sentence Stromberg-Stein meted out was 12 years. The term increased to more than 15 because of additional time given on extortion, assault and firearm counts.
"My client intends to vigorously pursue a conviction appeal that will be filed next week," Nathanson said.
Stromberg-Stein recounted the details of the kidnappings in January, April and May of 2005.
The first victim, Harpeet (Happy) Singh, was grabbed in January 2005 because he was a member of Narwal's crew believed to have been involved in the theft of $400,000 worth of marijuana and the murder of two others in the gang.
While Narwal was out on bail, he kidnapped Khark Grewal in late April and tried to extort his father for $500,000 because he abandoned 72 kilograms of pot near the B.C.-U.S. border in a failed attempt to cross the line.
Just days later, Harjit Singh Toor of Abbotsford was grabbed at gunpoint after work and grilled about his suspected knowledge of missing marijuana.
His family paid $160,000 to the kidnappers as police followed the exchange, leading to the arrest last May 7 of Narwal and others.
"Both Mr. Grewal and Toor were terrorized and threatened with death," Stromberg-Stein noted.
Both were told they would have to dig their own graves.
"These are egregious aggravating circumstances," she said.
Other accused are charged in each kidnapping and will have separate trials.
Narwal's mother Gurmej Kaur, who had made the trip from Kamloops, was escorted out by supporters after the dramatic hearing under tight security.
Police officers, most from Surrey RCMP, who investigated two of the three kidnappings, shook hands and smiled after the sentencing.
Several Narwal buddies, who have been a fixture at the trial, looked grim as they walked past more than a dozen plain-clothed officers.
Bellows said the three victims, while their own records weren't spotless, should be commended for coming forward.

"I think they really deserve a lot of credit for having the courage to come forward despite their background," Bellows said. "And I think a lot of credit is due to police investigators."
Surrey RCMP spokesman Cpl. Roger Morrow also stressed that police will always take cases seriously despite the history of complainants.
"If they are victims of a crime, they should always feel free to come forward to police," he said.
The total sentence for the kidnappings of three young Indo-Canadian men was 17 years, but Stromberg-Stein gave Narwal 22 months' credit for the 11 months he has been in jail.
At the sentencing hearing Tuesday, Bellows said that the number of similar kidnappings had doubled across the Lower Mainland from 2004 to 2005.
And Bellows said that the Indo-Canadian community has been fighting back at gangs that have left more than 100 young men dead in the last decade.
Supt. John Robin, who heads the B.C. Integrated Gang Task Force, said the conviction will really help police in the battle to reduce the violence.
"It sends a really strong message to those who mix violence and drugs that they will be aggressively prosecuted and that the courts are going to have no tolerance," Robin said Thursday.

A history of organized crime in the Indo-Canadian community:

Dozens of young Indo-Canadian men have been slain in recent years, caught in the violent world of organized crime and drug trafficking. Most of the cases remain unsolved.

Vancouver Sun
Friday, June 10, 2005

Aug. 29, 2004 -- Manjinder Singh Nutt, already charged in a stabbing several months ago, is gunned down outside the Saanich basement he had rented for several months. Police say he had connections to the Lower Mainland Indo-Canadian gang scene.
July 14, 2004 - Hardeep (Hardy) Bassi of Langley is found dead in his car in Abbotsford after shots are fired around 3:20 a.m. Friends of Bassi's family said he had gotten mixed up in gangs and drugs.
May 4, 2004 -- Two Indo-Canadian men are found shot dead in a home in the 800-block of East 32nd Street in Vancouver. One of the victims is identified as Herman Dhillon, a former high school basketball star. The other victim's identity is not made public. Police say they believe the murders are gang-related.
April 26, 2004 -- Harjit Ghoman is shot dead in his car in the Pacific National Exhibition's north parking lot. Ghoman, who had been at a concert at the PNE with his girlfriend, is shot in his car by a man wearing a balaclava. Ghoman was a suspect in a September 2000 shooting in Vancouver.
March 23, 2004 -- Truck driver Karmen Singh Johl, 63, is found shot to death at the wheel of his Chrysler LeBaron on River Road in Delta. Johl had been convicted of drug trafficking in 1993 and lost property under the Proceeds of Crime Act in 1998. Police are investigating the possibility his murder was linked to Indo-Canadian gangs and cross-border smuggling.
March 6, 2004 -- Gerpal (Paul) Dosanjh, 27, is shot to death inside the Gourmet Castle Restaurant on East Hastings. He is a cousin of the original Indo-Canadian gangsters -- Jimmy and Ron Dosanjh -- who were gunned down in 1994 by suspected associates of Bindy Johal
Dec. 13, 2003 - Thirty-six year old trucker Gurwinder Singh Bath is found slumped in his car in Bear Creek Park in Surrey. Earlier in the year, Bath, who worked for R&S Transportation Ltd., had been implicated in a cross-border marijuana-smuggling scheme involving commercial trucks.
Aug. 16, 2003 -- Three people are killed and six are wounded, including several innocent bystanders, after shooting breaks out between bikers and Indo-Canadian gang members at the Loft Six nightclub in Gastown. "Paul" Dosanjh survives a shot in the head, but is killed just months later.
Aug. 8, 2003 -- Bobby Johal is gunned down in an upscale Saanich neighbourhood. He was wounded three years earlier in a July 2000 attack that claimed the life of his younger brother, Gurinder. Sources say the brothers
had been involved in marijuana trafficking.
June 8, 2003 -- The body of 20-year-old Jaspal Toor is found in south Vancouver. A 26-year-old Burnaby man is charged with second-degree murder. Police say Toor was involved in minor drug activity.
Nov. 18, 2002 -- Davinder Singh Gharu, 21, is shot outside his New Westminster home. He was a close friend of Jaskaran Singh Chima, who was murdered in spring 2002, and an associate of Robbie Kandola, murdered in June. Sources say the intended target of the hit was actually Gharu's cousin Peter Adiwal.
Nov. 16, 2002 -- The body of Heera (Hari) Singh Bahia, 24, is found near Mission. Bahia, who had gang associations, disappeared in August.
Nov. 1, 2002 -- Abenaas (Abby) Jaswal is doused with flammable liquid and set on fire in a ravine beside a Belcarra regional park road. Port Moody police believe the Simon Fraser University student got involved in a drug scheme that went bad.
Sept. 29, 2002 -- The body of known drug dealer Kamaljit Singh Sangha of Vancouver is discovered near Nelson Ave. and Marine Drive in Burnaby. Sources say Sangha was killed because he gunned down 22-year-old Michael Ly three months earlier outside a Metrotown apartment building.
June 23, 2002 -- Cocaine dealer Robbie Kandola is murdered by killers waiting for him as he gets out of a cab in front of his Coal Harbour apartment. Former gangster Bal Buttar said he arranged the hit because Kandola had ordered the murder of Buttar's brother Kelly six months earlier.
April 1, 2002 -- Gurjinder (Gary) Singh Sidhu is chased down and shot to death by two men lying in wait for him at the Delta house where his family had been hiding in fear of retaliation for another killing. Three men are later convicted. Buttar says Sidhu, along with his friends Rick Bhatti and Ned Mander, were killed over a heroin smuggling scheme that went bad.
March 18, 2002 -- New Westminster police discover the body of 25-year-old Jaskaran Singh Chima in a burning car under the Alex Fraser Bridge. Chima was a known drug dealer. Buttar admits he arranged the hit on Chima who he believed was involved in his brother Kelly's December 2001 murder.
Jan. 2, 2002 -- The body of Phouvong Phommaviset, 26, is found near the Fraser River in Richmond. Phommaviset was a suspect in the disappearance of Ned Mander the previous October.
Dec. 22, 2001 -- Kuljit Singh (Kelly) Buttar, 22, is shot dead at a Richmond wedding.
Nov. 21, 2001 -- The bound bodies of Gurpreet Singh Butter, 25, and Sukhjinder Singh Sahota, 27, are found shot to death on the riverfront near Dyke Road in Richmond. Buttar says the pair was killed over the same heroin deal that involved Sidhu, Bhatti and Mander.
Oct. 9, 2001 -- Narinder (Ned) Singh Mander is kidnapped from his Surrey business by two men and has not been seen since. Hours later, he makes a call to a friend in a car with Rakinder (Rick) Singh Bhatti. Minutes later, shots are fired at the car near Surrey's Dasmesh Darbar temple and Bhatti is killed. Mander and Bhatti were allegedly involved in a heroin smuggling scheme that went bad.
Sept. 29, 2001 -- Kamalbir (Kam) Jawanda is shot dead outside the home of Sarbjit Singh Dhanda, a former Bindy Johal associate and friend of Rick Bhatti and Gary Sidhu. Dhanda is convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years.
Aug. 20, 2001 -- Tyler Hawryluk, 22, an associate of the Buttar brothers and Bindy Johal, is found shot dead in Burnaby. Hawryluk was executed by associates of Bal Buttar who believed he had been the triggerman in the attempted execution of Buttar two weeks earlier.
Aug. 3, 2001 -- Gary Rai and Baljit Singh (Bal) Buttar are shot at a Vancouver hair salon. Rai is killed and Buttar, a former Bindy Johal associate, is left paralysed. Buttar says Rai conspired with Hawryluk, Buttar's girlfriend and the woman's new love to take him out.
July 9, 2001 - Lakhwinder Singh Sahota, a dispatcher for R&S Transportation, is shot in the leg as he arrives for work by an Indo-Canadian male who mutters something in Punjabi.
Jan. 15, 2001 -- The body of 24-year-old Krishan Sharma, who is known to police, is found in a pond under the Pattullo Bridge. Sources say Sharma was choked to death, stripped and burned because he was responsible for a
shooting a short time before that left a man critically wounded.
Sept. 14, 2000 -- Suspected drug dealer Gurpreet Singh Sohi, 20, is shot to death in Delta. Three of his former associates -- Robbie Soomel, Gogi Mann and Hardip Uppal -- are later convicted.
Sept. 9, 2000 -- Parmjit Singh Gill, 20, of Burnaby, and 26-year-old Raj Soomel, of Vancouver, are shot and wounded in an exchange of gunfire outside Soomel's family home on East 59th. Soomel's brother Robbie believed the shooters were Harj Ghoman, killed in 2004, Gurpreet Sohi, shot a week later by Soomel and admitted gangster Mindy Bhandher.
Aug. 25, 2000 -- Manmohan Singh Tiwana, 26, is found shot in the head in his car in Surrey.
Sources say Tiwana was selling cocaine when a customer decided to steal a kilo and murdered Tiwana in the process.
Aug. 4, 2000 -- Sanjeev Gill is shot and wounded outside Bar None, in downtown Vancouver.
July 27, 2000 -- Gurinder Singh Johal, 22, is shot to death in Port Coquitlam. His brother, Bobby Johal, 24, is wounded. Bobby is a former associate of Gurinder Khun Khun, killed in 1997.
May 13, 2000 -- Mike Brar, 21, acting as a bodyguard for alleged cocaine trafficker Ranjit Singh Cheema, is shot to death outside a west-side Vancouver wedding attended by hundreds of people, including former premier turned Federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh. Sources say Robbie Kandola arranged the hit on the popular Brar.
Feb. 14, 2000 -- The charred body of 21-year-old Rishi Singh, of Vancouver, is found dumped near Squamish. His burned car is later found in Surrey. Robbie Soomel and Daljit (Umboo) Basran are arrested but released a day later.
Sept. 3, 1999 -- Vikash Naidu, 23, of Vancouver, and Kuldeep Singh, 25, of Richmond, are fatally shot at close range in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven in Richmond. Bal Buttar says he was the "middleman" in arranging the hit on
Singh, but that Naidu was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
May 20, 1999 -- The body of Deepak Sodhi, 19, of Vancouver, is found on a dike in Delta with gunshot wounds. Robbie Soomel remains a suspect in the murder.
Dec. 20, 1998 -- Bhupinder Singh (Bindy) Johal, 27, is shot dead at Vancouver's Palladium nightclub. Bal Buttar says he arranged the hit on Johal for $20,000 after the notorious cocaine dealer became reckless and started killing some of his own associates.
Nov. 29, 1998 -- Johal friend Roman (Danny) Mann, 22, is found murdered in New Westminster. Buttar says Johal killed Mann because Mann wanted out of the criminal organization.
Nov. 18, 1998 -- Moderate Sikh newspaper publisher Tara Singh Hayer is shot dead in his Surrey garage. A gangland trial last year heard that Indo-Canadian gangsters were paid $50,000 by the Babbar Khalsa terrorist group to kill Hayer, who was to be a witness at the Air India trial.
Oct. 7, 1998 -- Drug dealer Vikash Chand, 26, is shot dead outside Rags to Riches Motorcars in Burnaby. Johal went to the scene with Buttar and Mann because he was shocked by his friend Chand's death. Buttar says Johal was
not involved in the murder.
Sept. 19, 1998 -- Johal associate Derek Chand Shankar, 19, is found shot to death under the Queensborough Bridge in New Westminster. Buttar says he witnessed Johal shoot Shankar after Shankar insulted the crime boss earlier in the evening.
Oct. 21, 1997 -- Gorinder Singh Khun Khun, 24, is shot dead in Vancouver. While Khun Khun had been hanging out with Johal in the period before his death, Buttar says Johal ordered the hit because he suspected Khun Khun was
the shooter in the 1994 attempt on Johal's life that left his neighbour Glen Olson dead.
Jan. 19, 1997 -- Amarjit Singh Dheil, 31, is gunned down as he leaves the Marpole Community Centre in Vancouver after a late-night floor hockey game. Buttar says the hit was ordered by Johal.
Oct. 11, 1995 -- Suspected drug dealer Paul Jabbal, 22, dies after being found at Southeast Marine Drive and Elliott in Vancouver with gunshot wounds. Sources say Jabbal was killed after becoming addicted to his own product, reducing his profits from illegal drug sales.
June 10, 1995 -- The charred body of Peter Manjeet Dosanj is found in a stolen van set afire in a Delta field. Police say the death is linked to the drug underworld.
April 24, 1994 -- Johal's neighbour, Glen Olson, is walking a dog when he is shot dead. Police suspect he was mistaken for Johal by associates of Ron Dosanjh. Buttar says Khun Khun was the likely shooter.
April 19, 1994 -- Drug dealer Ranjit Singh (Ron) Dosanjh, former head of the Vancouver branch of the International Sikh Youth Federation, is killed on Kingsway. Johal and associates are eventually charged, but acquitted.
Feb. 25, 1994 -- Drug dealer Jimsher Singh (Jimmy) Dosanjh, Ron's brother, is shot dead. Johal and associates are eventually charged and acquitted.
Dec. 2, 1991 -- Sanjay Narain, who witnessed the murder of Parminder Chana, is thrown off the Cleveland Dam, allegedly for "yapping" too much about the Parminder Chana killing.
Oct. 11, 1991 -- Parminder Chana is murdered, apparently because he was dating the sister of Rajinder (Little) Benji, who is charged with the murder but is acquitted. Faizal Dean, a Johal associate, is convicted of second-degree murder.
March 14, 1991 -- Sikh moderate leader Bikar Singh Dhillon is shot and wounded outside his home. The hit is believed to have been arranged by a political opponent, drug dealer Ron Dosanjh.
-- compiled by Kim Bolan