One of the accused is Nguyen Man Cuong, a Canadian national of Vietnamese origin
JIMI Singh Sandhu, an Abbotsford gang associate who was deported to India in 2016 because of his criminal background, is back in jail after India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted what it called an international drug syndicate that manufactured the date rape drug, ketamine, worth Rs. 250 million [$5 million] every month.
According to reports in Indian media, Sandhu was the 11th person to be arrested in the case in which the DRI raided 14 residential and industrial places in the western Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa last week and seized 308 kg of ketamine, 2,000 kg of raw material, hashish, cocaine and opium worth nearly Rs.350 million. Among those arrested were four foreigners. Two of them are British: Jonathan Thorn alias John and Barry John Bracken.
The DRI claims that Sandhu owns the factory that was manufacturing the ketamine in Goa. They say that when they went to arrest him in a house in Goa, he jumped out a window and escaped into the jungle. He was arrested on June 14 from Panipat in Punjab.
The operation in Goa was processing semi-finished ketamine procured from the person believed to be the mastermind behind the drug racket into pure ketamine. The finished product was then smuggled to Canada and Africa. One of the group members of the Goa group of the syndicate had even smuggled drugs to Bangkok, according to the Hindustan Times.
One of the accused is Nguyen Man Cuong, a Canadian national of Vietnamese origin. He reportedly told investigators that Sandhu met him in Vietnam while he was trying to export sandalwood from India. Cuong claimed that through him Sandhu made some clients in Vietnam to whom he sold ketamine. Cuong said he came to India on Sandhu’s request to guide him in processing ketamine at the Goa factory.
According to the RCMP website, “Ken Cuong Manh Nguyen” – aliases Nguye, Nken Cuon Manh / Nguyen, Cuong Manh / Nguyen, Cong Manh – is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for being unlawfully at large. He is now 38 years old.
It reads: “Ken Nguyen is currently serving a life sentence for second degree murder of a rival Asian gang member in 1999.
“Nguyen was granted permission by the Parole Board of Canada to travel to Vietnam from April to May of 2015 and failed to return. He has contacted his parole officer and indicated that he has decided to remain in Vietnam and will not be returning to Canada.
“Nguyen has family in Vancouver and a girlfriend in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
“He was working as a hairdresser in Victoria, B.C. up until his breach of conditions.”
The Vietnam-born Nguyen has tattoos on his right shoulder (tiger) and back (large Chinese archery warrior). He has scars on his right eye, cheek and abdomen.
Special public prosecutor Anuradha Mane denied allegations by Sandhu’s lawyer that his client was tortured and forced to sign documents. “Sandhu owns the factory in Goa where drug was being manufactured. He was sent to judicial custody as we did not seek his custody,” said Mane.
The Hindustan Times reported that a DRI official said: “A majority of our investigation will be focused internationally. We will contact authorities in Canada and Britain and get details of the accused. We have come across a few names, which have links with foreign rackets. We will take their details from our counterparts in these countries.”
IN December 2015, appealing an Immigration and Refugee Board order to deport him to India because of his criminal background, Sandhu denied that he had killed Red Scorpions’ gang leader Matthew Campbell, 31, of Abbotsford in January 2014.
In February 2014, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced that a second-degree murder charge had been laid against Sandhu, but in January 2015, the murder charge was stayed apparently because there was no substantial likelihood of conviction.
In March 2015, the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) issued what they called “an important public safety notification” warning the public about three men, including Sandhu, they believed posed “a risk of significant harm” to the safety of the community and anyone who associated with them and released their photos. Police said the three were involved in an ongoing conflict and a criminal lifestyle that included violence, drugs, and weapons.
Sandhu had two criminal convictions for assault with weapon and possession of an unauthorized prohibited or restricted weapon. He was prohibited from possessing firearms.
He failed to convince the Immigration Appeal Division member that he had changed as much as he had claimed.
Sandhu confessed that he had had friends in the Dhak-Duhre and United Nations gangs.
He said he came to Canada at the age of seven after being adopted by his grandmother so that he would have more opportunities, but later in school he started hanging out with the wrong company and got into trouble with the police.
However, he wanted to transform himself when he met his future wife who he married in August 2015. He was living in Edmonton and working and wanted one chance to prove himself.
But the Immigration Appeal Division member was skeptical about his claims and that of his wife regarding their decision to get married when they did. Also, they lived in different provinces.
The member felt that Sandhu would be able to adapt to life in India because he has family there and is familiar with the customs and the language.
He was deported in early 2016.