Sgt. Lindsey Houghton of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – B.C. (CFSEU-BC) told me this week: “They are still a number of people who were associates of both Sandip Dhure and the Dhak brothers when they were still alive – there are still associates of them who are a part of their criminal group, if you will, who are still alive, well and continuing their criminal enterprise here in British Columbia and beyond.”
Explaining the complex situation, Houghton noted that those who were a part of the Dhak-Duhre alliance remain on one side of the gang landscape. On the other side is the so-called Wolfpack – the Hells Angels, the Red Scorpions and the Independent Soldiers. A lot of members of both alliances have been shot and killed.
Interestingly, Houghton noted: “What has happened though – and this is something that is very unique to the British Columbia gang landscape – is that many of the people who are involved in gangs, especially here in the Lower Mainland, but for the most part in British Columbia, they change alliances quite often and they operate very much like a business if you will.
“And what they do is that they nurture and develop their criminal enterprise and by and large for the most part it’s all drug-related like the Dhak-Duhre alliance that was overwhelmingly operated on the money gathered from the selling of drugs.”
He added: “So what some of these people are doing is that they are approaching people who may have been their enemies for years in the past and they are starting to work together, sometimes for a short period of time, sometimes for a longer period of time, and for one reason and one reason only – it’s because they can bring something to the table that they are not currently getting in order to make a lot of money very quickly. It’s all about greed and that’s what fuels this and all the way down to the street-level drug-trafficking.”
Houghton said the Dhak-Duhre alliance was formed for a number of reasons “because of what was happening on the other side and to make their criminal enterprise bigger and more efficient and then make more money because the Dhak drug operation was very lucrative for the two brothers.”
He added: “But as we know, the two brothers were killed, first Gurmit, then Sukh and then other people within that Dhak-Duhre faction took over those drug lines and there was some fighting to take those drug lines over and some of those people have been killed and the ripple effect continues.
“And that’s what fuels a lot of the gang violence on our streets – the fight over neighbourhood or community-level dial-a-dope drug trafficking network.”
I asked Houghton if Jimi Sandhu, who was arrested last Saturday (February 1) and charged with second-degree murder in the January 2 death of Red Scorpions’ gang leader Matthew Campbell of Abbotsford, was also part of the Dhak-Duhre associates.
Houghton said: “That I don’t know, but what I can tell you is that the person who was killed – Mr. Campbell – was on the other side of the Dhak-Duhre alliance. He was a Red Scorpion and as we all know because of their infamy either the Red Scorpions were led by or associated to the Bacon brothers, which was on the opposite side of the Dhak-Duhre alliance.”
Houghton added: “Some of the reasons behind these murders could very well be something very fresh or recent. It’s like dropping a pebble into a pond and we often look back to the murder of Gurmit. Gurmit was a flashpoint murder in terms of the gang violence especially in southern British Columbia and it goes beyond just Metro Vancouver because from that we saw a number of shootings, attempted murders and murders including the murder of Jonathan Bacon in Kelowna [on August 14, 2011] and in that was Larry Amero, a Hells Angel, he was targeted, as well as James Riach, who was an Independent Soldier, and together they formed the criminal alliance called the Wolfpack.”
[Gurmit Singh Dhak, 32, was shot dead in execution style in a black BMW SUV on October 16, 2010, at a parking lot of the Metrotown Shopping Centre, and his brother Sukhveer (Sukh) Dhak, 27, who was gunned down on November 26, 2012, along with his bodyguard, Thomas Mantel, 30, in a Burnaby hotel.]
Houghton said: “From that we’ve seen a number of murders and attempted murders – when you drop a pebble into the water, the waves get smaller and smaller and it can become harder to pin something back to a certain event a few years ago.
“But we can still see – for example, last year the murder of Manny Hairan – and he was like a right-hand man of the Dhak brothers. And so these things are still connected even if by a very thin thread – many of the events are still connected back to two or three of these watershed moments in terms of gang violence and the murders that we’ve seen in the last five-six years.”
[Manjinder “Manny” Hairan, 29, who was shot dead on January 15, 2013, in Surrey, is believed to have also been involved in the Kelowna shooting along with Dhak associate Jujhar Khun-Khun, 25, of Surrey, Michael Kerry Hunter Jones, 25, of Gibsons, and Jason Thomas McBride, 37, of North Vancouver were arrested on February 22, 2013, and charged with the first degree murder of Jonathan Bacon as well as four counts each of attempted murder.]
Houghton said: “In his circles, Gurmit was beloved. He was charismatic. The people that worked for him really liked him. That doesn’t take away from what he did certainly; we all know what he was involved in and we all know from some of his interviews and things like that and behind the scenes that he regretted some of what he was doing but he couldn’t get out. And that’s very telling in terms of the behaviour of these people.
“You look at the tragedy – the life lost: Gurmit was killed right in front of his family. It was absolutely terrible. And we know that in the last eight years since 2006 there’ve been roughly 150 gang-related murders in the province of B.C. – 25 percent of those murder victims have had children and Gurmit was one of them. So there are over 50 families whose children will now grow up without their fathers or their mothers and that is very, very sad – it doesn’t need to happen.”
BY RATTAN MALL