Vancouver police say they have dismantled one of the city's most violent gangs after arresting six alleged members of the Sanghera crime group in South Vancouver on Wednesday.
"A few weeks ago, I had told you the city streets had been the battleground of a brutal gang war .… I am pleased today to tell you we have taken a major step in suppressing this plague of gang violence …by dismantling another violent gang group," said Chief Const. Jim Chu on Thursday morning.
Bobby Sanghera, 31, Navdip Sanghera, 24, Savdip Sanghera, 27, Charanjit Rangi, 23, Jaspreet Virk, 20, and Kyle Van Leeuwen, 24, are facing a total of 69 charges, many involving weapons, assaults, trafficking and robbery, say police.
They join three other alleged members of the gang, including the alleged leader Udam Sanghera, 58, who were arrested in March. One other alleged member of the gang, John Holler, 20, is still being sought, said police.
The arrests are part of Project Rebellion, which was launched last October to target Vancouver's most violent gangsters. Deputy Chief, Doug Lepard, however, said no one should think the problem has disappeared.
"The members often move back and forth among the gangs, doing deals for whoever will hire them … and they attract a variety of enemies along the way … and that generates violence," he said.
Insp. Mike Porteous, who is in charge of the police department's Project Rebellion team, said they focused on the Sanghera gang because the family-based gang of drug traffickers are the source of much of Vancouver's gunfire and mayhem.
The unit has been responsible for 167 gang-related charges since it was formed in October.
The Lower Mainland region of B.C. is in the midst of a violent gang war involving more than 40 shooting incidents since the beginning of the year and 21 confirmed shooting deaths.