Police have arrested 13 alleged gangsters — and a 14th woman accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill her ex-husband — crippling one of the city’s most notorious gangs, authorities said yesterday.
Manjit (Manny) Buttar and Bobby Tajinder Gill, the purported leaders of the Buttar gang, and 11 others have been charged with 125 offences including conspiracy to murder, weapons trafficking and extortion.
Liza Belcourt, a 32-year-old Surrey woman, is charged with hiring members of the Buttar gang to murder her ex-husband.
Around 100 drug-related charges will be laid in the coming weeks, police said.
“This was an extremely challenging investigation,” said Vancouver Insp. Brad Desmarais, who oversaw the investigation dubbed Project Torrent.
He added that more than 250 officers from departments across the Lower Mainland collaborated in the investigation.
“Organized crime groups are a cancer on our society,” Desmarais said. “They are led by men who have a sociopathic disregard for morals. We’ll never let that stand.”
Police also revealed 14 weapons — one with a homemade silencer — and a phony Integrated Gang Taskforce jacket they seized while conducting Project Torrent.
RCMP Supt. Dan Malo said investigating gang cases is getting more difficult as the gangsters “become more schooled in police techniques.”
“Over the next few weeks police will be speaking to prolific gang members and advising them they can co-operate with police and leave the gang lifestyle or be our next targets for investigation and prosecution,” Malo said. “We will not let up on these criminals. More arrests are coming.”