Arman Singh Dhatt pleads guilty to gun and drug charges in case linked to Surrey shootings

BY JENNIFER SALTMAN,

A young man who was arrested during the investigation into a series of drug-related shootings in Surrey has pleaded guilty to a number of gun and drug charges.

Arman Singh Dhatt, 19, appeared in provincial court in Surrey on Tuesday morning to enter the pleas. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Dhatt pleaded guilty to charges of trafficking in a controlled substance, possessing a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition, possessing a firearm with an altered serial number, possessing a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized, possession for the purpose of trafficking and two breaches of an undertaking.

Most of the offences stem from a search warrant that was executed at his home in Delta on April 10, however the trafficking charge and one breach are from March 25.

Police seized guns, heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and Canadian cash during the search of Dhatt’s home.

Police said Dhatt and others came to their attention during their investigation into a large number of shootings that have taken place in Surrey since March.

The gunplay is related to a low-level drug turf war between two groups of dial-a-dopers. One group already has control of the drug trade in the Newton area, and another group is attempting a takeover.

The most recent shooting that police have confirmed is related to the dispute took place in September.

The Province

Phone Scammers Using ‘Delta Police Department’ Name to Target Residents

Delta: Police in delta are warning public about phone scams in Delta and Surrey.

Phone scammers are once again at work in Delta, but this time they’re using the ‘Delta Police Department’ name to target residents in one of two scams currently circulating.

In the first scam, the fraudsters claim to be fundraising for the “Delta Police Anti-bullying Initiative”.  The callers are using and unidentified or blocked telephone number and requesting credit card donations for the “Initiative”.  The scammers are looking to obtain the victim’s credit card info.

As a reminder to residents, while we do take part in anti-bullying programs, there is NO “Delta Police Anti-Bullying Initiative” run by the DPD and we do not solicit donations via phone or email.

The second scam is a well-documented one in which scammers call (or email) potential victims pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  The goal of these scams is to access your personal and/or banking information and put it in the hands of the scammers.

Often, the scammers add an air of legitimacy to their scam by using phone spoofing apps or programs that allow them to display callback numbers legitimately associated to the businesses they pretend to be calling from.

You can read more about the CRA scams at the Canada Revenue Agency website.

To protect yourself against scammers:

  • Never provide personal information over the phone unless you are speaking to a trusted, confirmed source;
  • Do your research: before providing any personal information or donating any money hang up and double check the information through sources you trust and have identified yourself;
  • Do not click on any links in unsolicited emails;
  • If in doubt, delete the email or hang up the phone;
  • Report attempted frauds to your local police department even if you did not lose any money: your reports can help us warn and protect others.

Indo-Canadian Woman, 70, dies after being hit by car

Delta Police seeking witnesses to a fatal pedestrian collision

Surrey/Delta-Police in Delta are seeking witnesses to an accident where a 70-year-old woman is dead after being struck by a car in Delta last weekend.

On Sunday, July 26 at approximately 2:04 pm, a woman was walking with her husband north on Scott Road at 72 Avenue.

She was struck by a car making a right turn from 72 Avenue onto Scott Road.

Police says the driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian remained on the scene and rendered assistance. The victim was transported to hospital for medical treatment. Sadly the victim, a 70yr old female resident of Delta, succumbed to her injuries at hospital with family by her side.

As a result of initial investigative efforts police believe there were witnesses to the collision that have not yet spoken to police.

In an effort to further the investigation Delta Police need to speak with several people at the scene that witnessed the collision and to please come forward and provide their information to police.

The Delta Police are continuing with their investigation into this collision. Police are asking these witnesses to contact Cst. Grayson Smith of the Delta Police Traffic Section at 604-946-4411 and quote file 15- 15680.

Suspects in 20 Surrey/Delta shootings refuse to cooperate with police

Statement from Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge

I would like to provide an update on the recent shootings that have been occurring in Surrey and Delta. I know our citizens and business owners are very concerned and I want to provide them with information on our progress.

Since March 9th, Surrey has had 16 shootings and Delta has had 3. Together with Delta Police, we have determined that 11 of the 19 shootings are related to two groups who are involved in low-level drug trafficking. The two groups are of South Asian and Somalian descent. We believe these two groups are competing over turf and have chosen to jeopardize public safety in that process.

This type of violence is completely unacceptable. Since the very first shooting, the Surrey RCMP has been working diligently with our law enforcement partners in Delta, the RCMP Lower Mainland District and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

Over the past five weeks we have used numerous tactics, including overt and covert enforcement initiatives and community engagement, to gather intelligence and evidence on those we believe are involved in these targeted shootings.

We have reached out to elders and leaders in both the Somali and Sikh communities. We also have two police officers who are involved in a Sikh youth leadership pilot program at our local temples. In addition, we have spoken to many of the family members of those involved in these shootings.

As a result of information shared at the press conference we held on March 12th:

• We have received many tips directly to our office and via Crime Stoppers that have allowed us to identify several previously unknown persons associated to both groups.
• We have identified and recovered one of the vehicles suspected to have been used in one of the shootings;
• We have made one arrest. Delta resident Arman Dhatt was arrested Friday and has been charged with 12 firearms and drug trafficking offences. Our investigative efforts are continuing in regards to his possible involvement in the shootings.

However, the victims and intended victims of these shootings have been uncooperative with police. Upon questioning, these young men have said things such as:
• “The bullets fell from the sky.”
• “I will take care of it myself.”
• “Don’t you worry about it… No need for you cops to be here.”
• One of the victims also told investigators that he knew who the shooters were and the motive behind the shooting but did not wish to tell police.
As you can imagine, this lack of cooperation has significantly impacted our ability to make any arrests.

While both the victims and suspects in these cases are determined to settle their differences outside the law, we are determined to stop the violence. We are disappointed with the lack of cooperation from the victims and we know the community is frustrated as well.

Today, I again appeal to the family, friends and those of you who know any of the people pictured here. We need information on their whereabouts, their connections, and their activities. Any information could benefit the investigations and help prevent somebody else being shot.

Since our March 12th press conference, our investigators have identified 8 additional males who have been victims or intended victims in these shootings and have not been forthcoming with information on the incidents that threatened their lives. To further our investigative efforts we are releasing their identities as follows:
1. Adam LAKATOS (Surrey resident)
2. Derrick BEQUETTE (Surrey resident)
3. Chadanjot GILL (Surrey resident)
4. Shakiel BASRA (Delta resident)
5. Sukhpreet PANSAL (Delta resident)
6. Sukhraj CHAHAL (Surrey resident)
7. Tirath TAGGAR (Surrey resident)
8. Charandeep TIWANA (Surrey resident)
We also continue to seek additional information about the 5 individuals we presented to you on March 12th:
1. Sameh MOHAMMED (Surrey resident)
2. Pardip BRAR (Delta resident)
3. Amrit KULAR (Surrey resident)
4. Indervir JOHAL (Surrey resident)
5. Pardeep SINGH (Surrey resident)
We are asking anyone with information on any of the shootings or on the activities of any of these 13 people to contact the Surrey RCMP, Delta Police, or Crime Stoppers if you wish to remain anonymous.

To the citizens of Surrey and Delta, I assure you that our work on these egregious acts continues every day, 24/7. Thank you for your trust, and for your assistance.

Statement from A/Chief Lyle Beaudoin, Delta Police
“Delta Police is committed to ‎the ongoing safety and security of our community. While Delta Police believe that the incidents occurring in Delta are targeted against specific individuals, the brazen nature of the shootings in residential and other public locations where members of the community should feel safe is hugely concerning and our utmost priority.

“Delta Police continue to vigorously investigate these shootings in an attempt to locate and prosecute those responsible. Our dedicated investigative teams are in regular contact with our partner agencies including the Surrey RCMP, IHIT, the Combined Special Enforcement Unit and the Real Time Intelligence Centre.”