Vancouver police are vowing to keep up the pressure on alleged gangsters after making a series of arrests and seizing guns in recent weeks.

"We have identified more dangerous people in southeast Vancouver and they are going to go to jail,'' said Insp. Mike Porteous.

The pledge comes after Vancouver Chief Constable Jim Chu spoke to reporters about the challenges that officers are facing.

"There is a gang war and it is serious,'' said Chu.

To prove it, the Vancouver Police Department put on display at police headquarters a number of weapons that were recently seized as part of a gangland crackdown known as Project Rebellion.

They included an AK-47 and a bullet-proof vest.

Chu said police are seeing new rules of engagement for gangsters, who he said are shooting each other when they don't have to.

There have been 29 shootings in the metro Vancouver region since late January, 12 of them deadly.

A key battleground is southeast Vancouver, which involves members of the Sanghera and Buttar groups

Among those arrested are:

  • 58-year-old Udam Singh Sanghera, who was picked up on Feb. 23rd, and charged with seven counts of unauthorized firearm possession.
  • 31-year-old Barjinder (Bobby) Singh Sanghera. He was picked up on November 8th, and charged with six counts of unauthorized firearm possession.
  • 24-year-old Tejinder Singh Malli, who was picked up on Feb. 18, and charged with break and enter.
  • 28-year-old Bimal Datt Sharma, who was arrested on Feb. 18, and charged with break and enter.

The focus of Project Rebellion is to concentrate on the people we know are doing the killings, the gangsters who pose the greatest threat to the public safety, the ones who are the most violent.

Insp. Porteous said these groups are responsible for up to 100 shootings in the southeast Vancouver region.

He said some group members were arrested on their way to kill rivals.