South Asians

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Inderdeep Minhas, 18, is pictured being arrested by an Abbotsford Police officer. Minhas was arrested by the gang task force for failing to appear in court on charges related to firearms and obstructing justice. It is in relation to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict. Another teen, Akshay Sachdeva, 18, was also arrested this month and charged with possession of drugs. HANDOUT / VANCOUVER

BY STEPHANIE IP

Abbotsford police seized a number of drugs and have arrested an 18-year-old man in relation to the ongoing gang conflict throughout the Lower Mainland.

A search warrant was executed June 7 at the home of Akshay Sachdeva, 18. During the search, police found several controlled substances, including Fentanyl.

Police said Sachdeva had been identified as being linked to the Lower Mainland gang conflict that first started as a drug turf war in the Townline Hill neighbourhood of Abbotsford. The investigation has since been expanded and now includes officers and suspects from other jurisdictions.

Sachdeva has since been charged with four counts of possession for the purposes of trafficking in controlled substances. At the time of his arrest, he had been released on conditions relating to a May 2017 assault charge.

News of the arrest was shared exactly a week after Abbotsford police arrested another teen related to the same ongoing conflict.

Inderdeep Minhas, 18, was arrested June 14 after he failed to appear in court on three gun-related charges.

Abbotsford police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information about the conflict to call 604-859-5225 or text 222973 (abbypd). Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Anyone who needs help or advice relating to gang involvement can email helpyouth@abbypd.ca or call 604-864-4777.

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By David Shum Global News

A 58-year-old man has been charged with multiple counts of theft after $12,000 went missing from six mosques in Mississauga, Ont., earlier this month.

Peel Regional Police said the thefts consisted of money being stolen from donation boxes at six religious faith centres between June 4 and 17.

Police said the suspect would enter the mosques during opening hours and either steal the locked donation boxes or break into them and remove the money.

In two of the cases, the accused managed to enter the mosques after hours and take the cash.

Ashraf Awad of Mississauga was arrested and charged with five counts of theft under $5,000, one count for theft over $5,000, two counts of break and enter and theft, and one count of break and enter instruments.

Anyone with information on this investigation is asked to call investigators at 12 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau at (905) 453–2121, ext. 1233 or Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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Surrey: On Sunday March 26, 2017 just after 6:00 a.m. the Surrey RCMP responded to a report of a stabbing in the 17000 block of 57th Avenue.  When police arrived, a male victim was located inside the residence suffering wounds received from an edged weapon.  The male victim was transported to hospital, but despite all medical efforts the male victim died as a result of his injuries.  A male suspect was located at the scene by police, and was taken into custody.

As this was quickly deemed a homicide, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has taken conduct.  IHIT is working closely with the Surrey RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Section, and the B.C. Coroner’s Service to gather and review evidence.

The investigation remains on-going, however, investigators have secured a homicide related charge against the male suspect, identified as 27-year-old Gurtarn “Tarn” SANDHU.  Mr. Sandhu has been charged with Manslaughter in the death of the male victim identified as 36-year-old, Jaspreet “Jesse” DHALIWAL.  Mr. Sandhu is scheduled to appear in court later this afternoon.

“This altercation occurred between parties known to each other, and was not random.”  Cpl. Meghan FOSTER of IHIT says, “This matter is now before the courts, and limited information can be provided as the court process will be honoured.”

 

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  • by Vikki Hopes – Abbotsford News

The Abbotsford News has learned that the victim of the fatal shooting Friday afternoon on Chase Street is Jaskarn Lally, an associate of two Abbotsford men previously gunned down in gang-related killings.

The shooting took place at about 4:30 p.m. at a home in the 3500 block of Chase Street.

Sgt. Judy Bird said police were called to a residence, where they located a 20-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bird said the incident appears to be targeted.

The investigation is still in its early stages and is being transitioned to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

Lally was previously named in civil court documents that detailed the fatal shooting of Harwin Baringh, 18, in October 2014 on Sparrow Drive.

The documents stated that Baringh was a member of the “Chahil crime group” at the time.

He was in his vehicle with a passenger, when they stopped at the side of the road. A second vehicle, occupied by his associates Lally and Navdeep Sidhu, pulled up beside them, and the two groups had a conversation.

Surveillance cameras later captured those two vehicles being blocked in the road by two other cars, and then gunshots being exchanged among occupants of the four vehicles, according to the court documents.

Three cars fled the scene, but Baringh’s Jeep remained, and he was found dead, slumped over in the driver’s seat. To date, nobody has been charged in his death.

The province’s civil forfeiture office successfully sued to seize two of the vehicles involved in the incident, saying they had been used to “engage in a violent ongoing gang conflict” between the Chahil and Dhaliwal crime groups.

Navdeep Sidhu, 24, also faced a violent death more than two years after Baringh’s killing. He was one of two men found shot to death in a vehicle in Edmonton two months ago. (The other was Harman Mangat, 22, also tied to the gang conflict in Abbotsford.)

large funeral was held for Sidhu on Jan. 19 at the Fraser River Funeral Home in Abbotsford.

Lally had several charges before the courts, including for an incident that occurred in February 2015 in Dawson Creek.

He went to trial on seven firearms charges in relation to what police said was a gang-related shooting.

According to RCMP, a man was abducted, driven to a gravel pit and shot several times in the legs. The man survived and dragged himself to a road, where a motorist picked him up and dropped him at the hospital.

All the charges against co-accused Anthony Larsen were stayed, and a verdict had not yet been issued against Lally in the matter.

Also in Dawson Creek, Lally was convicted of mischief in relation to a March 2015 incident. He was sentenced to a $500 fine, according to the provincial court database.

He was also due to appear April 14 in Abbotsford provincial court to have a one-year peace bond (restraining order) placed against him. He had been charged with assault, but that charge was stayed in exchange for a $500 fine and a peace bond.

Lally’s killing is Abbotsford’s third murder of the year.

Satkar Sidhu, 23, was fatally shot Feb. 20 on Steelhead Court, and the body of Joseph Kellington, 24, of Mission was found March 3 on a property on Ross Road.Police have not released his cause of death.

Anyone with information about Lally’s killing is asked to contact the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

British Columbia plans to introduce a series of improvements to help the taxi industry modernize and remain competitive in anticipation of ride-sharing services coming to British Columbia by the holiday season at the end of 2017, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone and Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink Peter Fassbender announced today.

“Over the past year, we’ve had some very important conversations with taxi companies and drivers who told us that we need to ensure fairness so they are able to compete effectively with ride sharing providers. This is why we’ve worked so hard to develop these measures, which reflects what I heard through extensive consultations and will allow ride sharing companies to operate, but also allows the taxi industry to be competitive,” said Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink Peter Fassbender while talking to the ethnic media at Grandtej Banquet hall in Surrey today.

In recognition of the important and long-standing role of the taxi industry in providing passenger transportation services in the province, the government intends to introduce a number of improvements that will ensure a level playing field in B.C. These include:

  • New app-based technology: The Province will invest up to $1 million to help the taxi industry develop an app with the capability of shared dispatch to allow the taxi sector provincewide to better compete with new entrants to the market, and allow the public to hail and pay for a taxi with a smartphone in the same way that they would for a ride-sharing service.
  • Crash prevention technology: ICBC will invest up to $3.5 million in the taxi sector to install crash avoidance technology in all B.C. taxis. This technology will improve passenger safety and help avoid crashes. An ICBC pilot showed that this technology led to a 61% reduction in at-fault, rear-end crashes and a 24% reduction in all crashes.
  • Insurance products: ICBC has been collaborating with the taxi industry to streamline the claims process, and is committed to working with the industry to improve their insurance to make it more flexible and cost effective, which could save taxi drivers significantly. Depending on the number of kilometres they drive, these savings could be in the range of 25%.
  • Reduced red tape: The Province will work with municipal governments and the taxi industry to remove red tape and overlap within the system, which will save drivers money.
  • Exclusive rights to street hailing for taxis: Taxis will retain exclusive rights to be hired by phone, at a taxi stand or flagged down at the curb.
  • Pick-up/drop-off anytime, anywhere: Ride-sharing companies typically operate across municipal boundaries. To ensure a level playing field for the taxi industry, the Province will work with municipalities and other stakeholders to allow all drivers, including taxis, the same access to provide services wherever and whenever a passenger needs a ride.
  • Open up taxi supply: The Province will work with municipalities to address the current shortage of taxis and vehicles for hire, which will provide more choice, accessibility and opportunity for both consumers and drivers.
  • In addition to these improvements, the Province will require the same safety standards for both taxis and ride-sharing providers in order to protect the public and drivers. As part of this, Class 4 licenses will be phased out for taxi drivers, and taxi and ride-sharing companies will be responsible for maintaining records that prove:
    • All drivers have an unrestricted driver’s licence (no graduated licences) and are at least 19 years of age.
    • All drivers have passed a criminal record check for past convictions of violent or sexual offenses as well as other offenses.
    • All drivers have passed a safe driving record check.
    • Vehicles have passed regular mechanical inspections.
    • Finally, the Province will make sure that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect consumers through fair and transparent pricing.

      These proposed improvements are the result of extensive feedback and consultation with stakeholders throughout the province, including the taxi and limousine industry, local governments, business associations, accessibility groups, and transportation network companies. Participants told the province they wanted:

      • A fair system that welcomes new companies while ensuring that existing local operators remain competitive and continue to earn a living wage;
      • A regulated system that protects passengers, drivers and their vehicles; and
      • A modernized system that reduces red tape, unnecessary duplication and provides both consumers and drivers with more choice, opportunity and flexibility.

      Beginning this summer, government will seek additional input from taxi drivers, the ride-sharing and taxi industries, police, airports, municipalities, ICBC and RoadSafetyBC as the Province finalizes its plan in time for the 2017 holiday season.

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Arrested:Gurjeet Mann, Jatinder Sandhar and Donovan Shah

Peel – Investigators from the Peel Street Crime Gang Unit arrested three men for drug and firearm related offences. The investigation commenced in December of 2016 and concluded on February 23, 2017.
The Peel Street Crime Gang Unit commenced an investigation into individuals responsible for trafficking in Heroin in the Brampton area.
During the investigation, a search warrant was executed at a Toronto residence. As a result,a Dominion Arms .45 calibre semi-automatic pistol, with a loaded magazine, and ammunition were located and seized.
Gurjeet Mann,a 35 year old male from Mississauga, was arrested and charged with Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking in Heroin. Mann was released on a promise to appear with a court date for March 23, of 2017.
Jatinder Sandhar, a 39 year old male from Brampton, was arrested and charged with Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking in Heroin. Sandhar was released on a promise to appear with a court date for March of 23, 2017.
The street value of their combined drug possession was over $3000.
Donovan Shah, a 25 year old male from Toronto, was arrested and charged with numerous drug and firearm related offences. Shah was held for a bail hearing an appeared before the Ontario Court of Justin in Brampton on February 25, 2017.
The street value of the drugs seized amounts to over $22 000. Also seized was just over $5000 in Canadian currency.

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Const. Amit Goyal. Credit: Osoyoos Times file

BY DAN FUMANO

After more than 40 months of paid suspension, a B.C. Mountie was exonerated Tuesday in a swift two-minute phone call.

It’s the latest twist in a case that stemmed from a fall 2012 incident in which two cars were reported stolen from the Osoyoos home of Const. Amit Goyal. Since then, Goyal has faced a criminal investigation, a separate civil lawsuit, and has seen his RCMP conduct hearing rescheduled at least six times since disciplinary action began in November 2013.

The saga’s latest chapter ended Tuesday, when the RCMP withdrew all charges and exonerated Goyal, clearing the way for him to return to active duty. The hearing was held via video- and tele-conference, with three RCMP adjudication board officers dialling in from Regina, Edmonton, and Ottawa.

The last time the adjudication board convened in person, in a Richmond hotel in September, the matter was adjourned after Goyal’s lawyer John Benkendorf told the hearing that after reviewing new evidence,  he felt “this hearing would be an embarrassment for the RCMP were it to proceed.”

Goyal was facing “extremely serious allegations,” Benkendorf said after Tuesday’s hearing. He had been accused of committing insurance fraud by allegedly abandoning his Audi S5 and an on-loan Ford Ranger on Anarchist Mountain on the outskirts of Osoyoos, torching them and then reporting them stolen.

In the two-minute hearing, the lawyer representing the RCMP, John Reid, said new evidence submitted by Benkendorf in September was “persuasive enough” to convince Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens “it is not in the public interest to proceed, as there is no reasonable likelihood of substantiation.”

“The member (Goyal) has been exonerated by this evidence,” Reid said.

The chair of the adjudication board, Insp. Bernard Tremblay said from Ottawa: “Alright, well, since the allegations are withdrawn, there is nothing left for this board to adjudicate. So, Const. Goyal, unless you’re suspended for any other reason, I expect you’ll be returning to active duty shortly, and wish you good luck going forward. This concludes the proceedings.”

In a statement after Tuesday’s hearing, Callens said: “This protracted process and lack of timely resolution is why the RCMP welcomed the legislative changes to the RCMP Act in 2014. The new conduct process allows misconduct to be addressed in a more responsive, timely and effective manner.”

B.C. RCMP Sgt. Annie Linteau said in an email that Goyal “will have to complete all mandatory requirements before returning to full duty,” but as for a timeline, “that is a difficult question to answer.”

Goyal was not able to comment on the case, Benkendorf said, but he was “relieved it’s over,” glad to be cleared, and eager to return to duty.

“It’s fair to say, in the 16 years I’ve been a lawyer, I’ve never seen a case like this,” Benkendorf said. “I’ve never had something like that, where it was such a difference between what it appeared to be, and what it actually was.”

An early suspect in the car thefts was a local man with a criminal record, court filings show. But the investigation soon turned to Goyal, and RCMP officers from an outside detachment told The Province in 2014 they recommended criminal charges of arson and fraud against Goyal, though the charges were never approved by the Criminal Justice Branch. Goyal was also named in a civil lawsuit filed last June by a former Osoyoos resident, although there has been no activity on the file in the past year, and it was unclear if the action would proceed.

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Hand delivered letters to the parents.

Recently, Chief Bob Rich authored a letter to the parents of the young men involved in the conflict.  The letter is an earnest attempt to change the direction of the conflict and the lives of those involved.  They shared this letter with the media and the public with the hope that it again informs citizens on what the APD is doing and becomes a catalyst for others to be part of the positive change that is so desperately needed.

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A new Stop of Interest sign was unveiled in Golden today, recognizing the community’s early Sikh pioneers and the role they played in Golden’s history.

“This new Stop of Interest recognizes the important contributions early Sikh settlers made in Golden and throughout the Interior of B.C.,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “This is a good example of the Stop of Interest signs we want to add across the province, to tell the stories of how B.C. was shaped through the contributions of many different ethnicities and cultures.”

“We acknowledge the Gurdwara in Golden as the first in B.C., and quite likely the first in North America,” said Pyara Lotay, on behalf of the local Sikh community. “We thank the B.C. government for recognizing Golden’s Sikh pioneers and their place of worship with this Stop of Interest.”

The sign recognizing Golden’s Sikhs was originally a small local area history sign located next to the ‘Golden’ Stop of Interest sign at the viewpoint off Golden View Road. The new sign will replace the ‘Golden’ Stop of Interest sign, and the refurbished ‘Golden’ sign will be relocated to a site to be selected in consultation with the Town of Golden.

“The story of our community’s Sikh pioneers is one of hard work and determination,” said Golden mayor Ron Oszust. “This Stop of Interest means a lot to our present-day Sikh residents, and highlights an important chapter in the rich history of our region, of which we’re all proud.”

B.C.’s Stop of Interest signs were first installed in 1958 to commemorate the Colony of B.C.’s centenary and recognize significant historical places, people and events. The ministry is refurbishing existing signs in need of repair and updating language where necessary.

In addition, the Province is adding up to 75 new Stop of Interest signs. British Columbians are invited to submit ideas for new Stop of Interest signs and share interesting stories that could be told to people travelling B.C.’s highways. Submissions will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2017.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will install the majority of the new Stop of Interest signs in late spring/early summer 2017.

A new Stop of Interest sign was unveiled in Golden today, recognizing the community’s early Sikh pioneers and the role they played in Golden’s history. BC Transportation and Infrastructure (facebook.com)
A new Stop of Interest sign was unveiled in Golden today, recognizing the community’s early Sikh pioneers and the role they played in Golden’s history. BC Transportation and Infrastructure (facebook.com)

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone

GOLDEN – A new Stop of Interest sign was unveiled in Golden today, recognizing the community’s early Sikh pioneers and the role they played in Golden’s history.

“This new Stop of Interest recognizes the important contributions early Sikh settlers made in Golden and throughout the Interior of B.C.,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “This is a good example of the Stop of Interest signs we want to add across the province, to tell the stories of how B.C. was shaped through the contributions of many different ethnicities and cultures.”

“We acknowledge the Gurdwara in Golden as the first in B.C., and quite likely the first in North America,” said Pyara Lotay, on behalf of the local Sikh community. “We thank the B.C. government for recognizing Golden’s Sikh pioneers and their place of worship with this Stop of Interest.”

The sign recognizing Golden’s Sikhs was originally a small local area history sign located next to the ‘Golden’ Stop of Interest sign at the viewpoint off Golden View Road. The new sign will replace the ‘Golden’ Stop of Interest sign, and the refurbished ‘Golden’ sign will be relocated to a site to be selected in consultation with the Town of Golden.

“The story of our community’s Sikh pioneers is one of hard work and determination,” said Golden mayor Ron Oszust. ” This Stop of Interest means a lot to our present-day Sikh residents, and highlights an important chapter in the rich history of our region, of which we’re all proud.”

B.C.’s Stop of Interest signs were first installed in 1958 to commemorate the Colony of B.C.’s centenary and recognize significant historical places, people and events. The ministry is refurbishing existing signs in need of repair and updating language where necessary.

In addition, the Province is adding up to 75 new Stop of Interest signs. British Columbians are invited to submit ideas for new Stop of Interest signs and share interesting stories that could be told to people travelling B.C.’s highways.

Submissions will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2017. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will install the majority of the new Stop of Interest signs in late spring/early summer 2017.