A four-month Vancouver Police investigation has resulted in charges against a man who allegedly defaced Vancouver’s Komagata Maru memorial in Coal Harbour last summer.
“This crime reverberated throughout the community because of what this memorial reveals about our past and the steps we have taken to become a more inclusive community,” said Sgt. Steve Addison on Wednesday. “We promised to do everything in our power to solve this crime, and we’re pleased that evidence has led us to a criminal charge.”
Vancouver Police launched an investigation on August 22, after people began posting pictures on social media showing white paint, hand prints, and graffiti plastered on the memorial, which includes the names of nearly 400 people who sailed to Vancouver from India aboard the Komagata Maru in 1914, but were denied entry due to racist policies at the time. Although the vandalism at the memorial was not initially reported to police, a team of investigators was able to gather important evidence from the scene and identify a suspect after people began discussing the crime on social media.
On Monday, BC Prosecution Service approved one count of mischief against 39-year-old Yuniar Kurniawan. A BC-wide warrant has been issued for his arrest.