Saturday, September 15, 2007
Is this the piece?
Is this the piece promised by the managing editor of Vancouver Sun? It's 8 pages of gang-related information in today's Sun about B.C.'s drugs trade. It doesn't mention Basi, Virk, Basi, or B.C. Rail. Please click on the link and share your opinions of the full story. Here are a few excerpts:
GANG VIOLENCE. TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT.
Solicitor-general urges tougher sentences for thugs who open fire in public
Full story: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=6e98c217-e9e5-4bf9-8a4b-e166cee13485&p=8
Neal Hall and Kim Bolan
Vancouver Sun -- Saturday, September 15, 2007
* ... too many gang members are packing guns for protection and are prepared to use them to settle personal scores and "business" disputes -- police estimate 90 per cent of gangs are linked to the illegal drug trade, especially B.C.-grown marijuana, which is being shipped across the U.S. border in exchange for cash, cocaine and firearms.
* Like everyone else, [B.C. Solicitor-General] Les said he was shocked by the public displays of gunfire this week, particularly the Langley one near two schools as students were arriving.
"The one we had this week with a shooting going on amongst kids on the way to school is a particularly disgusting manifestation of this kind of unacceptable behaviour," Les said.
While there is some risk to the public, he said, people should remember that most of those involved are criminals. [Duh?]
"The thing I notice, and I hope the public notices as well, whenever we see these gang-like shootings, is that invariably it seems that both the victim and the perpetrators are known to police, and secondly, known to one another," he said.
"So I guess the bottom line is, if you are a law-abiding citizen and your people are law-abiding people, there is actually very, very little to be concerned about. [Holy Keerist ... ! Just move along, folks, nuthin' to worry about here ... just move along ... - BC Mary]
* The gang problem appears to be growing -- the number of gangs in B.C. increased for the third year in a row, said 2007 police intelligence figures released to The Sun this week.
* RCMP Insp. Dennis Fiorido said the number of crime groups continues to rise in B.C., according to the most recent statistics for the fiscal year that ended last spring.
"The law enforcement community in B.C. has identified 129 organized crime groups operating in the province, up from 124 reported on in 2006," he said. And up from 108 identified in 2005.
Despite a net increase of just five, there were actually 42 new criminal organizations identified while 10 groups were broken up by police and therefore removed from the list, and another 27 became inactive and are defunct, Fiorido said.
Within the groups on the list, the police have struck blows against individual members through criminal charges, though the organizations still thrive "as a credible threat to our communities," he said.
* Outlaw motorcycle gangs top the list after so-called independent crime groups, followed by Indo-Canadian and Asian gangs, each with roughly the same number of organizations in the province.
The rest of the list consists of a mixture of Eastern European, Hispanic, Middle-Eastern, and traditional Italian crime groups.
Supt. John Robin heads the three-year-old Integrated Gang Task Force, which now has 60 officers from the RCMP and participating municipalities tackling gang violence.
* ... the rise of Indo-Canadian gangs after the 1998 hit on notorious cocaine trafficker Bindy Johal, whose high media profile may have glamorized the criminal life for a new generation of youth.
Groups like the Independent Soldiers began using a title and wearing patches a couple of years ago in Vancouver and have now expanded to Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George, Calgary, and Toronto.
* Police tend to focus on the bigger criminal picture when the violent behaviour of gangsters should be tackled at earlier stages, he said.
"Look at their behaviour and deal with the behaviour, so you are not always waiting for the end-all and be-all charge against them. Get them for whatever activity they are involved in, regardless of whether it it intimidation, drug trafficking, a driving infraction, domestic violence. You go after that and you deal with that individual."
Chu said he believes Vancouver's 560,000 taxpayers are shouldering too much of the burden of the region, policing gang problems that arise because the city attracts gang members to downtown nightclubs and sporting events.
* ... there are 900 more police officers across the province today than there were six years ago.
"I know that we have got a lot more resources on it today than we did four or five years ago. The police tell me that this approach is working well and that they are getting results," Les said. "We have had some pretty good beefing up of resources."
But Rob Gordon, director of the criminology department at Simon Fraser University, said an integrated gang squad helps, but it's not enough.
"We desperately need regional police services," he said. "John Les and others don't get it. They think integrated [police] teams is the answer, but it isn't."
He said RCMP and other police forces know of more than 100 organized crime groups, but many don't even get investigated because there isn't a coordinated regional approach.
* "They are not able to fully engage organized crime in B.C.," Gordon said. "There needs to be a regional strategy to deal with this problem -- and it is a problem."
He said public gang violence is a loud display of internal conflict resolution. "It's a demonstration of power to inflict punishment," he said. "It acts as a deterrent to others."
But such public displays undermine the confidence in the justice system because they are demonstrations that they are resolving conflicts above and beyond the law, Gordon said.
An issue that rarely gets discussed about the illegal drug industry, he said, is that there are huge, largely tax-free profits, which have the potential to be used to infiltrate the police [and every level of society, OK? - BC Mary] through payoffs for information.
"We had a Montreal detective who was found to be in the pay of an organized crime group," Gordon said.
One solution to avoid corruption and decrease policing costs is to legalize drugs such as marijuana -- he suggested growing B.C-grown pot was the third-largest industry in B.C. -- and use the revenue for more addiction treatment and other services.
He added: "It's not going to happen... because the Americans would never stand for it." But it's the most obvious solution, he said.
* Phil Moriarity, a former Vancouver police intelligence officer who now heads a private security firm, InterGlobe Investigations Services, says armed, violent criminals have been getting away with too much for too long, undermining public confidence in the justice system.
In B.C. this year, 129 organized crime groups have been identified, up from 124 in 2006 and 108 identified in 2005.
Police say each member of a gang usually has a "crew" of trusted underlings who distribute drugs across Canada and sell to street-level dealers. Most gangs don't have names, but some are groupings of criminals with similar ethnic backgrounds, although some are multi-ethic, having members who are Caucasian, Italian, Vietnamese and Chinese.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MAJOR PLAYERS:
- INDO-CANADIAN GANGS
One of the new gangs that arose in the last five years was the Independent Soldiers, which has about 25 members in B.C. Initially formed in South Vancouver, the gang has expanded to Kelowna, Kamloops, Prince George, Calgary and Toronto. Specializes in trafficking marijuana and cocaine, especially transporting across Canada over the U.S. border.
Police estimate there are up to 200 Indo-Canadians involved in organized crime activity. Most are well armed and violent, responsible for dozens of unsolved murders and drive-by shootings in the region.
One multi-ethic gang that has been recently on police radar is the UN gang, which was first seen in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Involved in drug trafficking and violence as an enforcement tool.
- HELLS ANGELS
Police say this gang is the most visible in B.C., mainly because members wear their "colours" -- the trademark winged death's head -- on their backs. Membership is estimated at 200 in B.C. A recent trial of a Vancouver Hells Angels member heard testimony of how a biker paid a "cook" to make meth amphetamine (crystal meth), which was then distributed to dealers to be sold on the street.
Police allege Hells Angels members are involved in marijuana growing operations and exchange B.C. bud for cocaine across the U.S. border. The value of the marijuana trade has been estimated at $7 billion a year in B.C. Police say growing operations are being used by all crime groups to fund criminal activity.
- ASIAN GANGS
Involved in smuggling heroin from Asia, computer banking fraud, including identity theft and cloning credit cards. Also involved in people-smuggling into Canada and the U.S., theft of exotic cars and SUVs for shipment to Asia, loansharking, gun dealing and contract murders. Police provide no estimate on the number of members.
Full, 8-page story at:
I have a pic of the Ledge lazily napping over at the House today....
Oh yeah, I don't think this is the promised story, this is more like the Crime Wave in the Kootenays story in a recent Province. If I hadn't read it in the Province I wouldn't have even known about it. Of course I actually live there and must admit that I was distracted by minor stuff during July and August, like wildfires, power outages and other non-important stuff. I'm certainly glad to learn that the RCMP were able to find time to protect me from DRUGS in spite of being so busy protecting evacuated houses and tasering and beating up hippies at music festivals. I'm also glad that the firefighters could spare a few choppers for pot searches instead of wasting them dumping water on fires or transporting fire fighters. As a taxpayer I'm proud to have supplied fuel for the snowmobiles too, though I still haven't figured out what secret purpose they served in July and August.
I think reporters have to kinda make stuff up when they aren't allowed to actually report on real stuff, cause the real stuff ain't important or as interesting as made up and/or fluffy stuff. Gotta go see if any blond women are missing now, catch you later!
He added: "It's not going to happen... because the Americans would never stand for it." But it's the most obvious solution, he said."
I guess I know what this guy means, but really, in spite of Stephen Harper's fondest dreams neither BC or Canada are actually a part of the United States......yet! There are countries in the world with much saner drug policies and so far even George the Pretender and Dick the well, Dick, haven't bombed them.
Canada doesn't need to grovel to the US, we have the stuff they covet and need in terms of energy and water for starters. There are lots of other countries lookin' for the same things. That is why Oil is around $80 per barrel and water is most likely the oil of tomorrow, drinkable water anyway! Besides, the Chinese actually own all of the American money, maybe we should sell oil to them, based on ability to pay. I almost forgot, could you pay for that in Euros, please?
After all, if we were to suddenly start converting everything to Euros wouldn't all of those nasty manufacturing problems suddenly be behind us?