ON January 17, 2014, 35-year-old Tarsem Dhaliwal left his residence to meet a friend and never returned home. On January 19, 2014, Dhaliwal was reported missing by his family to the Surrey RCMP and two days later, he was found dead inside his vehicle in the 18900-block of 92nd Avenue in Surrey.
Evidence quickly led investigators to believe that Dhaliwal met with foul play and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was deployed and assumed conduct.
IHIT said it worked diligently on the case and as a result Randeep Singh Match, then 33 years old, was arrested in Abbotsford on December 10, 2014, without incident.
At the time, then-IHIT spokesperson Staff-Sgt. Jennifer Pound said: “While the motive cannot be discussed as this matter is before the courts we can say that the victim and the accused were known to each other and this was a targeted attack.”
On January 26, 2018, 36-year-old Randeep Singh Match pleaded guilty to manslaughter for Dhaliwal’s death.
Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) Cpl. Frank Jang said on Thursday: “IHIT investigators, in partnership with the Surrey RCMP, worked tirelessly to secure all of the evidence relevant to this case. A guilty plea, in any homicide investigation, speaks to the efforts and dedication by all involved.”
Sentencing is scheduled for March 1.
MATCH and another Abbotsford man, Manindervir Singh Virk, were arrested in September 2009, when the Abbotsford Police Department was informed by U.S. Border authorities that some men had entered the U.S. illegally and then quickly retreated back into Canada.
A police dog located two duffel bags and two backpacks with 40 bricks of cocaine, valued between $1.4 million and $2 million. Match and Virk were found hiding in berry bushes. A third person escaped.
Match and Virk, who were each convicted in November 2011 of one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking, were sentenced to five and a half years in prison in September 2012.
Match was banned from possessing weapons for 10 years.
The Crown had suggested eight years in prison for the two men.
The judge noted: “Neither Mr. Match nor Mr. Virk has a previous criminal history with regard to drugs or the drug trade. They are relatively young men who otherwise appear to be decent citizens with solid family relationships.
“I do not believe that specific deterrence is an issue that need receive much attention. The effects that the charge and conviction have had on their lives and the sentence that I am going to impose will have certainly fulfilled that purpose.”
MATCH, after being convicted, applied to reopen the case, to sever the trial from Virk and to submit fresh evidence. He claimed he was in the area of the berry field because he had borrowed Virk’s car and Virk had asked him to meet him there. He denied knowledge of the cocaine. He stated that he ran when the helicopter and police car arrived because he panicked and Virk told him to run. He said he did not know why Virk was running.
However, his application was dismissed by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Brian Joyce who did not find the ‘most exceptional circumstances’ in reopening the trial after conviction. He found the application was an attempt to reverse a tactical decision made at trial.
The judge found that there was no arrangement at trial for Virk to testify, and Match was aware that he could have testified in his own defence but simply chose not to.
Match appealed the decision to the B.C. Court of Appeal on the grounds that the judge erred in failing to sever the cases, failing to reopen, and failing to allow him to adduce fresh evidence.
But a three-judge panel dismissed the appeal.
Court documents showed that Match was born in India and came to Montreal in 1998. He was a landed immigrant. After spending some years in Montreal, he moved to Abbotsford where he was living with his wife, their two daughters, and his wife’s grandmother.
Match completed Grade 10 in India. After coming to Canada, he was placed in Grade 9. The school he attended was French speaking and he did not do well there because of the language barrier and soon dropped out. After leaving school, he went to work at a company assembling furniture.
When he moved to Abbotsford, he first worked at a nursery. In 2000, he obtained his truck driver’s licence. He worked for a trucking company for a few years before buying his own truck and he became an owner / operator. In 2010, he changed careers and took a job installing carpets.
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