Gang leader arrested: Winnipeg police

A Sudanese man whom Winnipeg police say is the leader of a violent street gang has been arrested in the city's West End.
Police say the K, for killer, added to African Mafia graffiti is the group's way of showing disrespect to rival gangs. ((Det. Ryan Howanyk/Winnipeg Police Service))
A Sudanese man whom Winnipeg police say is the leader of a violent street gang has been arrested in the city's West End on Tuesday.

Bosco Laki, 23, is being held at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

Laki has been charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and court-order breaches for allegedly having a cellphone with him at the time he was arrested.

He was prohibited from possessing the device as a condition of a prior release from jail.

Police said Laki was allegedly found with $500 worth of cocaine after heavily armed officers with the Tactical Support Team and other investigators raided an apartment suite in the 400 block of Maryland Avenue in the city's West End.

Laki, originally from Sudan, was arrested without incident, Const. Jeff Norman said.

At the time, Laki was also facing a separate drug-trafficking charge from an incident last July, according to court records.

But police said he was not wanted on any outstanding warrants when they went to raid the Maryland Street apartment.

Police said a 40-year-old man was also arrested and released on a promise at appear in court at a later date. They did not identify him or say what he might be charged with.

Links to violence: police

A police gang-intelligence report obtained by CBC News outlines Laki's past involvement in the African Mafia street gang and his route to leaving the group to form his own gang, called All About Money, or ABM.

According to the report, prepared by Winnipeg police Det. Ryan Howanyk, Laki is one of two known African Mafia members who have recently departed the gang to start their own ventures. 

Police suggest that there's little love lost between the two groups, with ABM members shooting up a car filled with African Mafia associates on Aug. 24, 2008.

A man was wounded in the daylight attack, but no charges were ever laid because witnesses refused to co-operate with police.

The African Mafia is made up of a loosely formed group of young east African immigrants who banded together in an effort to control the sale of crack in the West End and downtown areas.

The African Mafia itself is a splinter group of another street gang called the Mad Cowz, police say. African Mafia members angrily cut ties with their former associates in 2005 over a dispute over the gang's leadership. 

Police say both gangs, and their associated splinter groups are linked to a slew of shootings, assaults and other incidents in Winnipeg since the Mad Cowz formed in 2004.

Police say the African Mafia has started to spread to parts of Alberta in an effort to avoid arrest and further their drug network.