Abbotsford police hand delivers letters to Indo-Canadian parents of sons involved in gangs

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.

Husband and hitman receive life sentences in B.C. mother’s murder

Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca Writer

A B.C. father who arranged to have his wife stabbed to death inside their family home has been convicted of first-degree murder alongside the man he hired to carry out the grisly attack.

Amanpreet Bahia was found face down in a pool of blood on her kitchen floor, with stab wounds to her back and neck in February 2007.

Her husband Baljinder Singh Bahia and Eduard Baranec were sentenced to life in prison with no opportunity for parole for 25 years.

“I’ve never seen a slashing of a woman as brutal as this, myself, in 50 years of practice,” defence lawyer Russ Chamberlain told CTV Vancouver.

Two of Amanpreet’s daughters, ages one and three at the time, were left alone for hours in the Cloverdale, B.C. home before Bahia’s in-laws discovered her body in the kitchen. Amanpreet’s youngest was found crying next to her mother’s body.

The court heard that Baljinder orchestrated his wife’s murder and hired Baranec to carry it out.

A third person, Tanpreet Athwal, is also charged with first degree murder in the case, but has not gone to trial. Athwal is said to have been intimately involved with Baljinder at the time of his wife’s murder.

Amanpreet’s death remained a mystery for years before her husband and the two co-accused were arrested in 2011.

For years, the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team worked the case alongside the provincial unsolved homicide unit. Saskatchewan’s RCMP Major Crime Historical Case Unit provided investigators with new information in December 2010 that led to the three suspects’ arrest.

Amanpreet’s relatives say while the dual verdicts provide some closure in the nearly decade-long tragedy, they will never fully recover from the loss to their family.

“(It will) never get better. When we are thinking about the kids, I have kids too,” said Amanpreet’s sister-in-law Sandhu.

Amanpreet’s two youngest daughters are in the care of their paternal grandparents. Her oldest daughter is now in her first year of university. They have not seen their father since 2011, when all three suspects were arrested.

“We are satisfied that justice has been done. But we are not happy. We will never be happy,” said Amanpreet’s brother Jugraj Kahlon.

Baljinder plans to appeal his conviction.

Three Toronto police officers face assault charges

Const. Piara Dhaliwal, Const. John Darnell, and Const. Adam Morris are facing assault charges.

By VJOSA ISAI Toronto Star

Ontario’s police watchdog has charged three Toronto police officers with assault following an incident during a 2013 arrest — and two of the officers have been in trouble before.
A 46-year-old man was arrested at his home on Feb. 13, 2013, and was taken to a police station in the back of a police cruiser, the Special Investigations Unit said in a media release Tuesday morning.
There was “an interaction” between the man and three officers during transportation, the SIU says, and the man was taken to Humber River Regional Hospital to examine what was determined to be a serious injury. The SIU was informed of the incident in August 2015.
Const. John Darnell, Const. Piara Dhaliwal, and Const. Adam Morris are facing assault charges. They will appear in court on Nov. 3; all three officers have been suspended with pay, said Const. Meaghan Gray.
Dhaliwal was subject to a Professional Standards investigation after an Ontario Court judge found that his testimony and that of his partner to be “deliberately misleading” and added that Dhaliwal’s actions “amounted to an assault.”
Dhaliwal and Const. Akin Gul alleged they were assaulted by Abdi Sheik-Qasim while investigating a noise complaint in January 2014.
Sheik-Qasim, then 32, had taken out a cellphone to record the encounter. Within seconds, Dhaliwal knocked the phone out of Sheik-Qasim’s hand; Sheik-Qasim was then arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer and failing to comply with a court order.
The phone was seized by the officers at the time, but not returned to him after he was released from detention. However, the phone automatically uploaded video files to the cloud, and the video evidence was used during his trial.
“Officer Dhaliwal’s swing of his arm and hand was the very first physical force during the interaction. The accused didn’t grab a hold of the belt of Officer Gul in advance of this action by Officer Dhaliwal,” said Ontario Court Justice Edward Kelly, adding he had doubt it happened at all.
“I believe that Officer Dhaliwal’s action amounted to an assault against the accused,” Kelly said in a decision issued Sept. 10, 2015.
Sheik-Qasim was acquitted of both charges. It is not known what result the Professional Standards investigation produced.
Meanwhile, Gray confirmed one of the officers, Const. Adam Morris, was arrested back in 2013.Morris was pulled over on Hwy. 400 when he was approached by a York Region police officer, after having several drinks in an industrial parking lot after reporting off duty.
York police officers performed a breathalyzer test, which Morris failed. He was taken back to a station, where his gun was seized by police. Morris took two more breath tests, one showing he was exactly at the legal limit and the second showing he was over it.
He was released with no criminal charges, and instead received a three-day driving suspension.
“The decisions of certain members of the York Regional Police Service not to proceed with criminal charges against Const. Morris should in no way detract from the seriousness of this misconduct,” the prosecutor told the disciplinary hearing in 2013.
Morris apologized for his actions and told the hearing it would never happen again. He was docked 18 days pay.
The SIU investigates allegations of police involvement in any interactions resulting in sexual assault, injury, or death.
With files from Jayme Poisson, Jesse McLean, and Wendy Gillis

Hardy Grewal, Subway franchise kingpin, donates $1M to Concordia

Son of Indian farmers came to Canada with $7, former cabbie now owns 2,100 fast-food franchises

By Roberto Rocha, CBC News

Hardeep Singh Grewal, the son of Punjabi sugar-cane farmers, came to Canada from India in 1972 with $7 in his pocket.

Fast-forward 44 years, and the entrepreneur owns 2,100 Subway restaurant franchises in Ontario and the U.S.

Grewal now lives in California, but he stopped by Montreal to revisit his former home — and to donate $1 million to Concordia University to endow MBA scholarships at the John Molson School of Business.

“I achieved with hard work what I wanted to accomplish: my parents’ dream to get an education,” Grewal said at a ceremony at the university Monday.

In recognition for the gift, Concordia has renamed the atrium in the business school in his and his wife’s honour: It is to be called the Hardeep (Hardy) Singh Grewal and Patwant Kaur Grewal Atrium.

Grewal hopes he will inspire future entrepreneurs to work hard and achieve their goals.

“Just have a great work ethic,” Grewal said, when asked what advice he’d give students.

“Work hard, and you’ll get anywhere.”

Working all the time

To make ends meet while attending classes, Grewal worked several jobs, including driving a taxi at night.

“I was working part-time all the time. Wherever I could find a job, I made it happen,” he said.

Hoping to start a new life in California, Grewal and his brother pooled together all the money they had and bought a Subway franchise in Sylmar, a neighbourhood in Los Angeles.

He left his wife in charge of the restaurant, while he worked a job in finance.

“It was a simple business where you don’t have to cook. Just make money and deposit it in the bank,” he said.

But when he saw that the Subway was making more money than his main job, Grewal knew he was sitting on an opportunity. So he started buying more franchises and didn’t stop.

Today, he’s Subway’s master developer in southern Ontario, operating 260 stores in the region.

Along with hard work, he credits education for his success.

“My family was always talking about education. That was my motivation,” he said. “Nobody can take that away from you.”

Female Realtors warned after sex attack

 

 

 

Realtors are being warned after a man attacked a woman during a property showing on the weekend.

At about 4:10 p.m., Saturday, a realtor was sexually assaulted in North Surrey while she was holding an open house.

The woman was able to fight off the unknown attacker. The man then fled.

The suspect is described as an East Indian man in his late 20s to mid-40s, 5’5″ to 5’8″, with brown eyes and a dark well-groomed beard. He was wearing dark-coloured pants and a light-coloured shirt at the time. He had a white turban on and spoke with an accent.

Surrey RCMP Sgt. Alana Dunlop couldn’t say whether the attacker was injured by the woman’s defensive moves, or whether evidence was left at the scene, noting the investigation is still in the early stages.

The female realtor was not physically injured, but police are assuming she’s emotionally shaken by the attack.

It’s not the first time something like this has happened in B.C. – or Surrey.

In October 2007, another female real estate agent was showing a property in Surrey to two men she thought were prospective buyers. She was tied up and robbed before she was able to free herself and run to a nearby home for help.

Then in 2008, Lindsay Buziak died from multiple stab wounds in a home she was showing in Victoria.

President-elect of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), Gopal Sahota, said the most recent occurrence in Surrey was “very unfortunate.”

He said what happened is a rare occurrence and that there hasn’t been a report of an attack on a realtor while at work in the region since 2007.

He said the FVREB knows little about the weekend assault, adding the RCMP hasn’t contact the organization yet. The FVREB doesn’t know who was attacked.

“Other realtors are talking about it,” Sahota said, noting the “conversations need to be had when something does happen.”

He notes when incidents do occur, they typically involve females, but he warned both men and women need to exercise caution when showing homes.

The FVREB recommends using a buddy system wherever possible, he said.

Sahota emphasized, however, that the majority of the public is well-behaved.

“The criminal element, when they’re going to act on their criminal leanings, it’s really unfortunate,” Sahota said.

The FVREB is offering safety tips for realtors and is hosting a self-defence course next month. It will be held on May 24 at the FVREB offices near 104 Avenue and 154 Street. The course is for members only and will cost $40. Register through the learning centre at https://tlc.fvreb.bc.ca/index.php/login

Dunlop said the advice from police is the same they would offer anyone in a similar situation.

“You have to consider that when you’re advertising something publicly, the public can access it, and that can be anybody,” Dunlop said Monday. “The way you guard your safety in the public, you have to apply those principles in those (semi-private) situations as well.”

In general, the public should always be aware if they see something suspicious.

“Be aware of your surroundings,” Dunlop said. “Just because you are in a home, it doesn’t mean you need to put your guard down.”

She noted there’s no evidence the realtor on the weekend was less than cautious, but said it’s always good to “really have your personal safety in mind.”

Anyone with information about the attack, or anyone who saw anything unusual in the neighbourhood on Saturday afternoon, is asked to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or www.solvecrime.ca

 

Safety tips for realtors:

  • Your cellphone can be your best friend in a bad situation. Program 911 on your speed dial.
  • Have a pre-arranged distress signal. For example, “I’m at the Jones house and I need the red file right away.” Share and practise your distress code with your office, colleagues, family and friends. Use it any time you feel uneasy.
  • Tell someone who you are with, where you are going and when you will be back. Make sure someone else knows what your schedule is and who you’re planning to meet.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you share. Do not use your home phone number; use a cellphone number instead. Use your office address rather than your home address.
  • When you have new clients, meet them at the office first. Verify their identities. Note their car make and model, and licence plate number, and if you can, photocopy their driver’s licence. Complete a client identification orm. A serious client will not hesitate to share this information.
  • Often at an open house, you’ll be working alone. You won’t know who will show up, so take basic precautions to ensure your personal safety.

– the Canadian Real Estate Association

Police seek help with unsolved Surrey homicide

Police are seeking information and witnesses in relation to the homicide of a man found dead in a car three years ago .

Vimal Chand, 29, was discovered on Feb. 20, 2013 in the family vehicle near Hyland Elementary School at 66 Avenue and 140 Street.

On Friday, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), with the help of Chand’s sister, released a video to remind the public of this homicide and to locate witnesses who have not been spoken to.

It can be viewed on the IHIT website at  www.homicideteam.ca

Chand had a criminal record, including a conviction for assault with a weapon. But his sister told CBC News he was a family man who hadn’t been leading a high-risk lifestyle.

Anyone with information about the homicide of Vimal Chand, or any other investigation can contact IHIT by telephone at 1-877-551-IHIT(4448)  or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or on the web atsolvecrime.ca

By Surrey North Delta Leader

‘Where are Canada’s 4,472 missing baby girls?’

Robyn Urback | April 13, 2016 

There is something about aborting a fetus because she is a girl, as opposed to aborting a fetus for any of the other innumerable reasons women decide to terminate a pregnancy, that makes many people — including the staunchest of pro-choice advocates — acutely uncomfortable. Part of it, I think, has to do with the way that we think of the fetus. It is much harder to think of that baby as just a clump of cells when we know that she has a sex — something we obviously can’t ignore when we’re talking about sex-selective abortion.

But more than that, I think what distinguishes sex-selective abortion from abortion for nearly any other reason is that it is driven entirely by who that child is, or will become. Usually when we talk about abortion, the focus is the woman and her choices. In Canada, women can choose to terminate a pregnancy for any reason: some feel they are too young, or too old, or not suitably financially secure, or would prefer to focus on their careers, or simply don’t feel like having a child or being pregnant — now or ever. In all these cases, the woman’s quality of life is the deciding factor, not the baby’s, and there is some consensus that it’s better to end the pregnancy than bring an unwanted child to term. In cases of sex-selective abortion, the decision has nothing to do with the mother’s quality of life, and everything to do with who the mother wants that child to be.

The only other comparable scenario is where abortion is sought for a baby that has been prenatally diagnosed with a debilitating physical or mental disability. But even in those cases, the decision is usually a reluctant one, made by parents who want to spare their child a life of unnecessary suffering. Perhaps the same justification could be used for sex-selective abortion in countries where girls can expect to be mutilated, abused and subjugated for their entire lives, but this is Canada, where girls and boys grow up to enjoy the same, equal fundamental rights and freedoms. One could attempt to make the case that aborting female fetuses in Canada prevents another girl from growing up in a family where she will be seen as second-class, but that is just about the worst conceivable way to remedy an unacceptable cultural phenomenon. In fact, rather than remedy it, it indulges it.

This week, a new Canadian study revealed particular patterns among babies born to Indian immigrant mothers that suggest these women might be choosing to abort female fetuses — particularly in cases where they already have two or more daughters. According to the study, the normal ratio of male births to female births in Canada is about 105:100. Among Indian-born mothers with two girls, the ratio jumps to 138:100. With three girls, it becomes 166:100. The study’s authors estimate that over the past 20 years, 4,472 baby girls are unaccounted for.

The suggestion that sex-selective abortion is happening in Canada is not new: in 2012, an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal urged doctors to keep the sex of a baby from his or her parents until 30 weeks, noting that the phenomenon of female feticide happens in North America “in numbers large enough to distort the male-to-female ratio in some ethnic groups.” In 2014, a joint statement by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Canadian Association of Radiologists called for an end to performing ultrasounds solely for “entertainment” purposes or to determine the sex of the baby. Nevertheless, despite these calls for reform, the reports are clear that distorted sex ratios are already a fact in some of Canada’s South Asian communities, and are likely to remain so, absent some change in policy.

The issue is a hot potato for Canada’s government, both from a cultural relativism perspective, and because our proudly feminist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that his MPs will always vote in favour of “a woman’s right to choose” in the House of Commons — which could make an awkward debate if his caucus were indeed compelled to support a woman’s right to choose to abort her baby for being a girl. But regardless of whether the government chooses to take this on (I have my money on “no”), this is an issue that the law alone won’t remedy. Indeed, when women’s lives are so undervalued that a family would rather have an abortion than another daughter, the problem is bigger than something that can be fixed by banning ultrasounds before 30 weeks.

Part of the problem is that dogmatic pro-choicers largely refuse to acknowledge that sex-selective abortion exists, much less that it is a problem. But being pro-choice is not — or should not be — absolute. It’s possible to both support a woman’s right to choose and reject the notion that aborting a baby because of its sex is acceptable. It’s not. Perhaps feminists should ask themselves how they reconcile their defence of a woman’s right to choose but not of a girl’s right to live.

National Post

Public assistance requested in break and enter

Surrey: Surrey RCMP is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect in  a break and enter to a residence in the City Centre area.

On March 27th, at 8:30am Surrey RCMP received a call from a female victim in her 80’s that an unknown male had entered her home in the 9300 block of 133A Street.  When she tried to call 911 the male locked the doors and took away her phone.  The male then searched her home, stole several items of value, and left.  The victim was not physically injured.

Surrey RCMP’s Robbery Unit is leading this investigation.  A neighborhood canvass was conducted to identify potential witnesses from the area.  Members from the Integrated Forensics Investigation Service (IFIS) were called to the scene to gather further evidence for forensic analysis.  In addition, an RCMP sketch artist was engaged and was able to produce a likeness of the suspect .

The suspect is described as a South Asian or Filipino male in his mid 30’s, 5’10” tall, with a muscular build .  The suspect was wearing an overly large black baseball cap with a brim that covered his ears, hair, and head. The suspect has “squinty” eyes and a very round head  with a short square chin.

“We’re hopeful that this composite sketch will lead to the eventual identification of the suspect,” says Cpl. Scotty Schumann. “Remember to keep your ground floor windows and doors locked, even when you are home, to reduce your risk of a break and enter.”

For more information on protecting your home and property, please see the Surrey RCMP’s website.

Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.

Bullet fired at RCMP detachment in Surrey

CTV News

The plague of gun violence in Surrey has hit home for local Mounties.

The RCMP has confirmed someone opened fire at the Surrey detachment at 104 Avenue and 148 Street, but investigators are still working to determine when the shooting took place.

Mounties said city workers discovered a hole in an exterior window at the building Tuesday morning. It was initially believed to have been caused by a rock, possibly one that had been tossed from a lawn mower, but a bullet was later found lodged in the drywall behind the window.

No other details have been confirmed.

If the bullet was fired within the last three months, it will bring the tally of shootings in Surrey up to 32 for this year, which amounts to roughly one every three days.

Investigators blame the bulk of those on an ongoing drug-related conflict between two new groups.

Anyone with information on any shooting in the city is asked to contact Surrey RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

 

Vancouver murder victim pleaded with killers to ‘hold on’

Victim and another South Asian prisoner named Randy Naicker were living in same halfway house before the shooting

Vancouver murder victim pleaded with killers to 'hold on'

Rajinder Soomel was shot and killed on Cambie Street in 2009 while he was walking to a convenience store from the halfway house where he was living.

METRO VANCOUVER — Before Rajinder Soomel was shot to death in the middle of Cambie Street six years ago, he shouted at his killers to “hold on, hold on, hold on,” a Crown prosecutor told B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday.

Michael Barrenger outlined the Crown’s case against Kevin James Jones and Colin Victor Stewart, charged with first-degree murder in Soomel’s fatal Sept. 29, 2009 shooting.

“I anticipate that a witness who saw the shooting, who was located close to it, will testify that Raj Soomel, before he was shot, said: ‘hold on, hold on, hold on,’” Barrenger said.

“Eight bullets were fired into Raj Soomel. The bullets pierced his head, his chest and his abdomen. Raj Soomel collapsed in the road dead just south of the intersection at Cambie and 19th.”

Barrenger explained to jurors that his opening statement is not evidence, but a summary of the evidence the Crown expects to call during the trial at the Vancouver Law Courts.

 He said other witnesses saw Soomel’s killers, wearing dark hoodies, chase him across Cambie after he stopped to get food at a local pizza joint.

And he expects witnesses to tell the trial they saw the two killers get into a grey or silver getaway car near the Starbucks metres from where Soomel collapsed.

Barrenger said police found a trail of evidence linked by DNA to Jones and Stewart that appeared to have been thrown from the vehicle as it raced away.

Police found a gun in the alley east of Cambie between 19th and 20th.

“That gun is one of the two guns used to shoot and kill Raj Soomel,” Barrenger said.

Closer to 20th, a pair of Remington Camoflauge gloves were located. Then a block away at 20th and Yukon, police found “the other gun used to murder Raj Soomel,” Barrenger said.

About three blocks away in the 4000-block of Yukon, police found another pair of gloves, a black hoodie and a bandana.

“DNA on three of those items came back to Colin Stewart. And DNA on two of those items cam back to Kevin Jones,” Barrenger said.

Soomel was gunned down about two blocks from the Dick Bell-Irving halfway house where he had been staying since August 2009.

Barrenger said staff at the halfway house noticed suspicious activity in the days before the slaying.

Cars were seen driving back and forth in front of the house just west of Cambie on 21st.

And there were phone calls made to the facility, including one that was traced to Jones’s girlfriend.

The suspicious incidents started after another South Asian prisoner named Randy Naicker was paroled to the halfway house on Sept. 24, 2009, Barrenger said.

Soomel left the halfway house just after 10 p.m. on the night he was killed. A staff member mistakenly wrote in his log that Naicker had gone out to the store, Barrenger said.

“Within minutes, two men armed with guns with their faces partly concealed burst into DBI. One of them screamed at him: ‘Where’s Randy? Where’s Randy?’”

A gun was pointed at the worker’s head.

“You will also hear his recollection that he was struck in the head with the gun, injuring him,” Barrenger said.

The worker told the gunmen that Naicker had gone to the store.

“The two armed men then left.”

Barrenger said that at the time of the murder, Jones was living in a halfway house in downtown Vancouver. He signed out before the slaying and returned about 20 minutes afterwards.

And Stewart was living in Coquitlam with a man named Jesse Adkins, who Barrenger suggested had a role in the murder though has never been charged.

“You will hear about Jesse Adkins in this trial,” he said. “You will hear that Jesse Adkins has not been seen in years and can’t be located.”

Both Stewart and Jones have pleaded not guilty.

The trial is expected to last eight weeks.