BY RATTAN MALL
VANCOUVER Police on Thursday arrested 40-year-old Hells Angel Larry Ronald Amero for one count of conspiracy to commit the murder of Sandip Duhre and one count of conspiracy to commit the murder of Sukhveer Dhak.
Amero, a resident of Ottawa, was arrested with the assistance of the Ottawa Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Biker Enforcement Unit. He will remain in custody in Ontario until he is transported to B.C. to face the conspiracy charges.
Dean Michael Wiwchar, 32, is being charged with one count of murder in relation to the murder of Sandip Duhre and one count of conspiracy to commit the murder of Sukhveer Dhak.
Thirty-year-old Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil is presently charged with the murder of Sandip Duhre.
All three men are known to police.
BACK in June 2015, then-Sgt. Lindsey Houghton of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – BC (CFSEU-BC) told The VOICE that roughly, there were still two sides to the gang equation in the Lower Mainland.
On the one side, you had the United Nations gang and all the remnants and allies of the Dhak-Duhre side of things – and then on the other side, you had what we would call the Wolf Pack: certain Hells Angels like Larry Amero and their allies and associates, the Independent Soldiers and the people that they brought to the equation and the Red Scorpions.
Houghton noted that there were two watershed moments in this larger conflict. One was the murder of Gurmit Dhak, the brother of Sukhveer Dhak, who was shot dead in execution style in an SUV in October 2010 at a parking lot of the Metrotown Shopping Centre. “That caused a lot of tit-for-tat violence and there were a lot of very public incidents that happened as a result of that,” said Houghton.
Then in August 2011, on the other side of the equation, Red Scorpion leader Jonathan Bacon was murdered, allegedly by the Dhak-Duhre and UN group.
Bacon, Amero and James Riach of the Independent Soldiers along with two women, one of whom is related to several Hells Angels members in Haney, were attacked in Kelowna. While Bacon was killed, Amero and the two women sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Riach, who was also injured, fled the scene.
“Since then, it would be fair to say in retribution for that, a lot of people on the Dhak-Duhre-UN side of things have been targeted,” Houghton told The VOICE.
Just in 2012, a number of high-profile gangsters were gunned down:
* SANDIP “DIP” DUHRE on January 17 in downtown Vancouver
* Ranjit Singh Cheema on May 2 in southeast Vancouver
* Gurbinder Singh Toor on May 30 in Port Moody
* Randynesh Raman Naicker (aka Randy Naicker) on June 25 in Port Moody
* SUKHVEER (SUKH) DHAK on November 26 in Burnaby
DUHRE, 36, was with two men at the busy Bar One restaurant in the Sheraton Wall Centre in the 1000-block of Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver at about 8:45 p.m. on January 17, 2012. When one of them left, the other shot Duhre repeatedly and then walked out amidst the panic, according to eyewitnesses. Duhre was on bail on charges of flight from police and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
In September 2011, Superintendent Tom McCluskie of the CFSEU’s Gang Task Force had warned the public: “We are issuing this warning to family, friends and others who are linked to these groups and highly recommend they take note of the risks when in contact with the Duhres and Dhaks, including their associates. We have reason to believe these people are being targeted by other criminal groups.”
He had issued the warning after the September 16, 2011 targeted shooting of Jujhar Singh Khun-Khun, an associate of the Dhak group. He was seriously injured but survived.
On February 22, 2013, Khun-Khun, Michael Kerry Hunter Jones of Gibsons, and Jason Thomas McBride of North Vancouver were arrested and charged with the first degree murder of Jonathan Bacon as well as four counts each of attempted murder.
Manjinder “Manny” Hairan, 29, who was shot dead on January 15, 2013, in Surrey, was also reportedly involved in the Kelowna shooting.
DHAK, 27, was gunned down along with his bodyguard, Thomas Mantel, 30, in the lobby of the Executive Hotel and Conference Center in the 4200-block of Lougheed Highway in Burnaby.
The two were apparently shot by a gunman who fled the scene. The lobby doors were shattered and one body lay just at the entrance while the other was in the lobby.
Dhak was actually on trial in a case in B.C. Supreme Court in which he was accused by Crown of being the mastermind behind a drug operation in which police seized more than 18,000 ecstasy pills in a December 2008 case.
Mantel was to appear in Surrey Provincial Court in January on charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace office in connection with a 2010 incident in Delta.
Last September (2017) in the ongoing Bacon murder trial in Kelowna, Prosecutor Dave Ruse had said in his opening statement in court that former Dhak associates would testify that the three accused in the August 2011 shooting and Hairan were in Kelowna to kill Amero, Bacon and Riach after learning that they were partying there.
A ruling by a B.C. Supreme Court judge revealed that Riach was one of the gang members seen at the scene of Duhre’s murder in January 2012.
Sukhveer Dhak, who was shot dead in 2012, blamed Amero and Riach for his brother Gurmit’s death and wanted revenge.
One of these former Dhak associates told the court that the Dhak brothers used to present beads like white gold balls with Chinese characters to their crew. These probably cost about $5,000 to $6,000 per set.
He testified that it was mainly Gurmit’s crew that possessed them and that after his death, Sukh started presenting them to his crew. The witness testified that Sukh texted “Congratulations, LOL, go have a drink” when he heard that Bacon had been killed.
DEAN WIWCHAR & RABIH ALKHALIL
IN February 2015, Toronto Police announced that Rabih (Robby) Alkhalil, who was wanted on a raft of charges across Canada including Duhre’s murder in Vancouver, was returned to Toronto after an extradition application was granted by the government of Greece.
He faces a first-degree murder charge in the slaying of gangster Duhre.
He was a suspect in the June 2012 murder of John Raposo, 35, who was shot in the head four times at point blank range at a café in Toronto.
His co-accused in that case was Dean Wiwchar whose case regarding $140,000 that were discovered by police in his safe deposit box was reported in the media in 2015.
Both Alkhalil and Wiwchar – along with Nicola Nero and Martino Caputo – were convicted in May 2017 of first-degree murder of Raposo. Wiwchar was already serving a sentence for possession of 16 firearms.
Wiwchar was under surveillance by police in May 2012 because he was suspected of being the hitman who killed Duhre in January 2012.
Although Wiwchar had not been charged in Duhre’s murder at the time, a ruling by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Gregory Bowden called the money “very suspicious” and noted: “There is no evidence to suggest that Wiwchar was employed or had a legitimate means of earning that cash.”
Bowden said: “In my view it would be reasonable to believe that Wiwchar obtained that cash as a result of criminal activity although not necessarily for the killing of Mr. Duhre.”
He added: “Nevertheless, the presence of the cash is consistent with the theory that Wiwchar killed Mr. Duhre for money.”
Wiwchar’s two accounts in a Vancouver bank had no money when they were opened in February 2012 two weeks after Duhre’s murder, but in April 2012 police came across $140,000.
The ruling also revealed that video camera footage showed a man with his head and face covered with a scarf and toque coming up to Duhre, who was seated at a table, and shooting him. He had a distinctive walk like Wiwchar as well as a similar height and build.
The vehicle used by the shooter was linked to Wiwchar and Ley.
The ruling also revealed that James Riach and Alyas Rahimi were seen in the hotel bar when Duhre was killed.
Alkhalil also faced Niagara Regional Police Service and Quebec Police drug-related charges including trafficking and importing cocaine as well as RCMP passport-related offences.
Montreal police had alleged that Alkhalil, Larry Amero and others were involved in a huge drug-trafficking operation in Quebec.
Amero’s charges were dropped in August 2017 because the judge found that his case took too long to get to trial.