Skip to content

Lower Mainland extortion investigations extend to West Vancouver

After shootings in Surrey and death threats to Abbotsford businesses, police say there is a similar case in West Van
West Vancouver Police Station02 Cindy
West Vancouver Police have acknowledged a multi-jurisdictional investigation related to extortion activity.

Police agencies investigating death threats to business owners and shootings across the Lower Mainland say there is a similar case in West Vancouver.

In December, Surrey RCMP arrested two men in connection with an ongoing extortion investigation, and asked the public’s help to identify a vehicle involved in a shooting earlier in the month. Several similar incidents were confirmed at a community meeting in January with Surrey police.

“We are aware of similar [fact pattern] cases in West Vancouver, White Rock and Abbotsford,” said Const. Brett Urano, media relations officer with BC RCMP. “I can not speak to specific cases, but the RCMP and municipal police agencies are sharing information and working on investigations that initiated via complainants from various locations.”

In late November, images of a threatening letter were circulated online after it was posted to businesses in Abbotsford. In the letter, it was stated to be from “Indian gang members,” who demanded large sums of money for protection. If the recipients contacted police, the text warned: “no more letter, only bullet.”

Abbotsford Police said that the typed letter was consistent with evidence in an ongoing investigation.

In a request for more information about the widespread extortion activity, Urano pointed to a joint police statement issued in December.

“The RCMP and Abbotsford Police Department believe these incidents may be linked and are working in partnership to advance and co-ordinate an investigation into these matters,” the statement read. “Police acknowledge that the threats circulating to businesses, including a recent incident that involved shots being fired at a home in White Rock, are deeply concerning.”

When West Vancouver Police were asked to comment on local cases of possible gang-related extortion, spokesperson Sgt. Chris Bigland confirmed there is one such case in the district.

Shots were fired outside a West Vancouver residence in November. Following the shooting, a famous Bollywood actor posted on social media that it was his home that was targeted, while an organized crime group in India took responsibility for the attack. Police have not said whether that incident is linked to the other extortion investigations.

Update (Jan. 24, 2024, 3 p.m.): This article has been updated with confirmation from West Vancouver Police of one incident related to the larger extortion investigation.