Canada: Victim of Hamptons homicide testified in gangster's murder trial - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaVictim of Hamptons homicide testified in gangster's murder trial

12:45  17 may  2019
12:45  17 may  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Victim of Hamptons homicide testified in gangster's murder trial © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

The victim of what police are calling a targeted homicide involving five suspects once testified against a gangster on trial for two drug-related murders.

Bikramjit Dhindsa, 49, was found dead Sunday in the Hamptons, a northwest Calgary community.

When police pulled security video, they found images of men standing outside his door, faces obscured, the night before Dhindsa was found in his home.

Inside the house, the evidence — which police won't detail — told investigators they were looking at a homicide, and one that was planned, possibly by organized criminals. The Calgary Police Service has said it's working with B.C investigators to explore connections with recent violence on the Lower Mainland.

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Vijay Ganesh Singh of Burnaby, B.C., was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder in 2013 for the slaying of two men found dead in the trunk of a car in Pickering, Ont. They had been bound with tape and shot in the head.

"The police suspected that they were killed as a reprisal for a drug rip-off," a related decision reads. "Mr. Singh was a principal suspect. He is suspected by the police of being the head of a drug trafficking organization."

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At the time of the homicides in 2009, Dhindsa was living in Ontario and later testified against Singh, sources have confirmed.

Dhindsa, himself a former drug smuggler, had knowledge of the players involved with the "drug deal gone wrong," according to trial reporting from DurhamRegion.com.

Police interviewed Dhindsa multiple times, the news outlet reported, and when they showed him a picture of Singh, he identified him as a B.C.-based associate of his drug boss who had attended a meeting about that particular drug deal.

'Hallmarks of organized crime'

The Calgary Police Service declined to comment on Dhindsa's past criminal involvement, saying that as a rule, officers do not comment on victims' histories.

They also declined to release more information about whether they were reaching out to Durham Regional Police, which had previously interviewed Dhindsa.

However, sources and public records have confirmed his past association with criminals.

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Officials were keeping information about evidence gathered at Dhindsa's home close to their chests due to the investigation being in its early stages, Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the homicide unit said at a press conference Wednesday.

"From what we know right now, there certainly [are] the hallmarks of organized crime," Schiavetta said.

"Obviously, when you have a targeted homicide that appears to be planned, we are speaking about some level of organized crime and sophistication."

Victim of Hamptons homicide testified in gangster's murder trial © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Dhindsa was renting his home on Hampstead Close N.W. in Calgary, and police said Sunday morning was the first time they were called to that address.

The man had some police involvement since moving to Calgary but his charges were withdrawn.

In December 2017, court registered Dhindsa's charges, including assault with a weapon, as withdrawn through Alberta's alternative measures program.

The program is offered to people with either no criminal record or a light one as an alternative to incarceration. Participants are permitted to avoid criminal records by going through rehab, doing community service or taking part in other methods, as recommended by court.

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Simon Fraser University criminologist Robert Gordon says Calgary police were correct to look at organized crime in their investigation of Dhindsa's death.

"Look at the picture," he said, referring to the surveillance video showing masked men. "It's a classic case of somebody who's got themselves into some trouble, and they're settling scores.

"This is, I wouldn't say every day in Vancouver, but most certainly, this is seen frequently in Metro Vancouver."

Gordon, who has studied gangs and drug crime for years, says Alberta is a prime market for the drug trade, in particular with opiates that contribute to the fentanyl crisis.

When profit is threatened, violence erupts, Gordon said. And Vancouver-based individuals operate out of Calgary, he said, because it offers the potential to reach into "a very vibrant, lucrative market" in Edmonton, the oilpatch and northern B.C.

"What happens in Vancouver oftentimes is mirrored in Calgary," Gordon said.

Calgary police have said they're considering if this homicide is connected to any other recent ones in the city or B.C.

Gordon said officials will be working hard to identify other potential targets to prevent more shootings.

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