Local police agencies have delivered a major blow to Lower Mainland gangsters in one of the most successful gang crime investigations in B.C. history. Task Force Tourniquet has resulted in the seizure of more than 120 firearms, 50 kilograms of drugs, and more than $1.6 million worth of cash and jewelry.
Task Force Tourniquet, led by the Vancouver Police Department, includes officers from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC (CFSEU-BC), the RCMP, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), and local municipal police departments. It was formed in March 2017 in response to increased gang violence in the Lower Mainland.
“This task force is a combined, proactive effort to target known offenders for future offences, with the goal of significant jail time for key individuals in the Lower Mainland gang conflict,” says Superintendent Mike Porteous, VPD Investigative Services.
The multi-agency task force has completed several projects over the past 18 months, including projects Tariff, Temper, Triplet, Treachery, and most recently, Project Territory.
“Successes like this investigation could not come about without significant coordination, collaboration, and communication at all levels. The seizure of deadly firearms and drugs in this investigation will undoubtedly save lives,” says Superintendent Brian Gateley, Acting Chief Officer of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia. “This joint investigation and the tenacity of all the officers and support staff involved to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately take down this criminal organization, is an excellent example of how determined we are in British Columbia to stemming the tide of gangs and gang violence.”
Project Territory alone has resulted in the seizure of a pressure cooker improvised explosive device, 93 firearms, 59 prohibited devices, more than 9.5 kilograms of fentanyl, close to 40 kilograms of other illicit drugs, $833,000 cash, $800,000 worth of jewelry, and collector cars valued at $350,000.
Ninety-two charges have been laid in relation to Project Territory, including drug trafficking, firearms possession, proceeds of crime, and participation in a criminal organization.
“Project Territory was wide-sweeping and has been very successful. We have taken weapons off of the street and disrupted violent activities being committed by several different crime groups,” says VPD Staff Sergeant Lisa Byrne, Team Commander for Task Force Tourniquet. “In this case, we have charged individuals involved in criminal organization, which includes family members who participated in the criminal dealings.”
Since March 2017, the work of Task force Tourniquet has resulted in 201 charges for 34 individuals. Additional charges in the Lower Mainland gang conflict are expected to be laid in the future as the investigations progress.
“Illegal firearms in the hands of gang members and organized crime groups are a concern for the RCMP. We see the significant harm that those who choose to use firearms during the course of their crimes have on communities and families from coast to coast to coast, and we are working to further the many recommendations of the BC Illegal Firearms Task Force report that was released in late 2017,” says Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett, the RCMP’s Criminal Operations Officer for Federal, Investigative Services and Organized Crime (FISOC) in BC. “The RCMP is working closely with police agencies across the country, including the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST), the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC), Lower Mainland integrated teams, and other police agencies here in British Columbia to leverage information and intelligence into investigations and arrests. We are unified in our response and are committed to ensuring the reduction or prevention of gun-related violence in B.C.”
BACKGROUNDER: Task Force Tourniquet
Task Force Tourniquet was initiated by the Vancouver Police Department in March 2017, in response to the gang violence in the Lower Mainland.
In September 2017, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC (CFSEU-BC) joined the task force, and in January 2018, all Lower Mainland agencies had resources committed, including:
- Abbotsford PD
- Delta PD
- New Westminster PD
- Port Moody PD
- West Vancouver PD
- Burnaby RCMP
- Coquitlam RCMP
- Langley RCMP
- North Vancouver RCMP
- RCMP LMD District
- Richmond RCMP
- Surrey RCMP
The task force has targeted four major, violent crime groups in the ongoing gang conflict in British Columbia, and investigated multiple offences, including murders, shootings, and other violent crimes.
Project Tariff targeted the Heer/Dhillon/Samra crime group. A five-month VPD investigation, initiated in March of 2018, resulted in:
- seizure of ten firearms
- seizure of more than two kilograms of heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analogues
- arrest of 11 Lower Mainland-based gang associates
- 79 criminal charges (pending trial)
Project Temper targeted the Gill crime group in May 2017, and resulted in:
- seizure of four firearms
- arrest of seven individuals
- 24 criminal charges (pending trial)
Project Triplet resulted from a police-initiated interdiction event in February 2018 where two individuals were believed to be about to commit a serious indictable offence. It resulted in:
- six criminal charges against two individuals
- seizure of one firearm
Project Treachery targeted the Grewal/Dhaliwal crime group and was initiated in the fall of 2017. During the course of this investigation, investigators learned that a farmhouse at 4096 240th Street in Langley was being used by gang members. Officers executed a search warrant on November 13, 2017, and recovered the following items on December 5, 2017:
- two improvised explosive devices
- nine handguns
- three assault rifles
- eight stolen vehicles
- more than 600 rounds of ammunition
- more than 500 marijuana plants
- bulletproof vests
The investigation is ongoing and investigators expect criminal charges in the future.
Project Territory targeted the Kang/Latimer group. A 17-month investigation initiated in March 2017 resulted in:
- 92 criminal charges against 14 individuals
- seizure of 93 firearms
- seizure of one pressure cooker improvised explosive device
- seizure of 59 prohibited devices
- seizure of more than 9.5 kilograms of fentanyl
- seizure of close to 40 kilograms of other illicit drugs
- seizure of $833,000 cash
- seizure of $800,000 worth of jewelry
- seizure of $350,000 worth of collector cars
The criminal offences included drug trafficking, firearms possession, proceeds of crime, and participation in a criminal organization.
The Kang/Latimer Group
The Kang group is composed of members of the Kang family, including Sameet Kang, Gary Kang, Randy Kang (deceased), their parents, and other close associates.
The Kang Group is closely aligned with the Red Scorpions Gang, specifically with Jamie Bacon and Kyle Latimer. It’s believed they share common interests in drug lines, and that they commit violence at the behest of or for one another.
The Kang/Latimer group also been in conflict with multiple groups over the past 18 months, and their allegiances remain fluid and ever-changing.
Project Territory charged persons:
- Kyle LATIMER (age 27)
- Sameet KANG (age 26)
- Gary KANG (age 22)
- Craig LATIMER (age 55)
- Csongor SZUCS (age 29)
- Anduele PIKIENTIO (age 22)
- Jacob PEREIRA (age 25)
- Jitesh VAGH (age 37)
- Kristoffer GHUMAN (age 21)
- Pashminder BOPARAI (age 29)
- Manveer BRAICH (age 30)
- Ranbir KANG (age 48)
- Mohanbir KANG (age 50)
- Gurcharn KANG (age 68)
Project Territory unindicted co-conspirators:
- James BACON
- Cody HAEVISCHER
- Amandeep MATTU
- Ranjeev AUJLA
- Gurvinder RANDHAWA
- Abishake LOHIA
- Dilraj GILL
- Omid MASHINCHI
- Jasondeep UPPAL