Gill Group dismantled in gang crime crackdown, police say
Published Thursday, May 17, 2018 12:19PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 17, 2018 1:04PM PDT
A police crackdown on gang violence in B.C.'s Lower Mainland has resulted in the arrests of seven suspects, including the head of the Gill Group.
Vancouver police and the province's anti-gang task force, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, announced the arrests Thursday as part of a joint effort dubbed "Project Temper," which was formed to combat a spike in targeted violence across the region.
Among other things, police boasted the project is responsible for the "dismantling of the Gill Group," who were known to do contract jobs for bigger, more influential gangs.
"The violent crime group was comprised of several individuals, including its leader, Taqdir Gill," Supt. Mike Porteous of the Vancouver Police Department told reporters at a news conference.
"This particular cell of this particular group has been dismantled. I don't believe there's anybody else outstanding."
The seven suspects include Gill, four other men and two teenagers. Together they are facing a total of 20 charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit arson and a number of weapon-related counts.
Four guns were seized during the investigation, police said.
Authorities have not provided details about the serious criminal offences, but said most of the victims were also involved in gang activity. One victim, however, who was the target of an alleged extortion attempt, was described by Porteous as a "normal businessperson in Vancouver."
"One of the victims I would describe as not being a gangster, and in fact he personally was anything but a gangster," Porteous said. "He had something that they wanted to take through force or threat."
The full list of suspects and criminal counts includes:
- Taqdir Gill, 21, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit arson, conspiracy to discharge a firearm, possession of a loaded restricted firearm, occupy a vehicle known a firearm is present, and extortion
- Hitkaran Johal, 19, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit arson
- Simrat Lally, 20, is charged with conspiracy to discharge a firearm, conspiracy to commit arson, occupy a vehicle knowing a firearm is present, and two counts of possessing a firearm without a licence
- Walta Abay, 23, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a loaded restricted firearm, and occupying a vehicle knowing a firearm is present
- Pawandeep Chopra, 20, is charged with possession of a loaded restricted firearm
- A youth who was 17 at the time of the offences is charged with conspiracy to discharge a firearm, possess a firearm without a licence, and occupy a vehicle knowing a firearm is present
- Another youth who was the same age is charged with conspiracy to commit arson