THAI Police told the media on Thursday (February 10) that the two men wanted for shooting Indian gangster Jimi Sandhu dead in Rawai, Phuket, last week on Friday (February 4) have fled Thailand, The Phuket News reported quoting national police chief General Suwat Jangyodsuk.
Police apparently know the identities of the two killers, one of whom is aged 37 and has served in the military. The two used genuine passports and came to Thailand as tourists on a “regular plane” on December 18. They left the country last Sunday (February 6).
The Phuket News reported that the police chief said that they had checked all the places they had been to during their trip and “know their destination after leaving Thailand by plane.”
He said that more than two people were involved in the plot to kill Sandhu.
Police recovered two guns – a CZ 9mm and a Walther PPK – by using a metal detector at low tide. The weapons had been discarded in the sea while the killers ran along the beach after the crime.
The police chief said that the guns were found about 100 metres from the crime scene and that both weapons are registered. Police are now going to question the registered owners of the guns.
He said Sandhu’s relatives are expected to arrive in the coming days to take his body to India, The Phuket Times reported.
(Here in B.C., police sources confirmed to The VOICE on Saturday that Sandhu still had connections here and was aligned with the UN Gang that is in conflict with the Brothers Keepers. This may trigger some retaliation, so the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC) is striving to ensure all intelligence is shared with other agencies in order to enable strategies to mitigate any violence. The Tuesday night shooting in Surrey’s Fleetwood in which a male has succumbed to his injuries and a female is in serious condition could be linked to Sandhu’s murder as the victim, Juvraj Jubal, is connected to Brothers Keepers.)
EARLIER, police said they had arrested a foreign man for questioning after they detected a GPS location device that had been fitted to the rented car used by Sandhu.
Police traced the device’s location signal being sent to a phone at a home in the Saiyuan area of Rawai on Saturday (February 5).
An arrest warrant was issued and the man was taken into custody on Wednesday (February 9), the Phuket News reported.
The news outlet also said that the national police chief told the media that the Canadian authorities had confirmed that the passport Sandhu possessed was genuine, though it had been obtained by using false information. Sandhu entered the country by a private jet from Malaysia. Also, no country had sent Thailand an arrest warrant or a “red notice” for Sandhu.
However, the police chief admitted that the biometric scans should have raised the alarm in identifying him.
Meanwhile, police are awaiting DNA results on some clothes that Sandhu’s killers – who wore white jackets, shorts and ski masks – are believed to have discarded in a bin.
CCTV footage from a private home showed the killers walking along Soi Aree Rop Uthit, Saiyuan, at 11:02 p.m. on the day of the murder before discarding some items in the bin. Officers recovered the clothes from the bin.
Also, police are expediting their forensic analysis of bullets and bullet casings found at the murder scene to compare the results with firearms in the area.
Police have been retracing the escape route of the killers through the Saiyuan area in Rawai.
THE Phuket News had reported that police announced that they had 20 teams of officers searching the island to track down the two suspects even as the national police chief arrived in Phuket.
The deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police was quoted from Bangkok by different news sources as reiterating that police believe the suspects are likely to be foreigners and are “two tall men.”
The suspects were captured on CCTV as they attacked Sandhu. Nineteen spent 9mm and .38 casings were found at the murder scene.
“The investigative team has tracked down their escape route from the (murder) scene and are currently investigating their further escape route,” the deputy spokesman said.
He said the suspects are likely Russian-speaking foreign nationals, based on the testimony of a witness who heard them speak.
Coconuts Bangkok reported: “So far the police have said that Sandhu entered Thailand on Jan. 27 on a private flight that connected through Malaysia. Immigration records show he first entered Thailand in 2016.”
According to Bangkok Post: “Police said the victim stayed at the villa 15 days per month, paying 100,000 baht a month to rent the place. He drove to and from the villa several times a day and was frequently visited by two foreign women, they said.
“In the villa, police found brand name handbags worth hundreds of millions of baht, three Apple mobile phones and a rented red MG car. They also found many footprints in an empty house near the villa.”
THAILAND’S Bangkok Post first reported Sandhu’s murder last week on Saturday.
The newspaper said that police were searching for two men who were caught on camera shooting the Indian gangster to death in the parking lot of the Beachfront Hotel Phuket, in downtown Muang district of Phuket. The hotel also offers villas for sale on the property near Rawai beach.
When his body was found on Saturday morning, Sandhu was carrying two different pieces of identification: a passport bearing the name of a Canadian of Indian descent, and a driver’s licence bearing the name of another Canadian of Indian descent, the Post reported.
Police were called to the hotel at 6.30 a.m. on Saturday after an employee reported a body in the parking lot of the villa zone, according to a Thai police officer.
The man was found lying face-down in a pool of blood behind a red MG hatchback with Phuket licence plates. Wearing a white T-shirt and cream shorts, he had sustained about 10 gunshot wounds on his body. Police believe the man had died at least six hours before his body was discovered, the Post reported.
Nineteen spent cartridges from a .38 were found scattered around the area. Some banknotes and some dried marijuana were found inside the car.
“When police examined security video from the hotel, they saw the victim driving the car to park in the villa zone of the 180-room hotel. As he was about to get out of the car, two men wearing woolen balaclavas to cover their faces jumped out at him. They fired several shots at close range and when the victim fell down, they shot him again,” the Post said.
Thai Examiner said: “Video footage from the scene of the killing shows the two figures both covered with woollen balaclavas initially lurking near another parked car which they used as cover before then approaching the victim as he emerged from his car, lunging at him while also opening fire.
“The attackers fired continuously at the man as he fell on the ground with one attacker bending down to shoot Mr Sandhu at closer range into the head area making sure the attack was fatal.”
The Examiner also reported: “Police officers who arrived at the scene found two forms of identification in the MG car parked by the Indian man seconds before his death.
“One is understood to have been a Canadian passport in the name of Mandeep Singh and a driver’s licence in the name of Amarjit Singh Sindhu.”
Police Major General Sermphan Sirikhong, Chief of Phuket police, said the victim had arrived in the province on January 27 and was staying at the villa wing of the hotel, the Post reported.
ON June 19, 2018, The VOICE carried a report titled “Deported from Canada for criminal behaviour, Jimi Sandhu is back in jail in India”:
“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.”
The report also said: “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.”
Apparently, when Sandhu was on bail, he left India.
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 had family there and was familiar with the customs and the language.
He was deported in early 2016.