06:39 GMT23 June 2021
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    Vancouver in British Columbia frequently finds itself in the top ten most desirable places to live in the world. But although it is an affluent city with a mild climate, great restaurants and beautiful mountains on its doorstep, it is a city with a dark underbelly.

    Detectives in the Canadian city of Vancouver are desperately trying to keep the lid on a gang war which claimed another life on Sunday, 9 May, when a well-known gangster was gunned down at the city’s international airport.

    Karman Singh Grewal, who had been a leading light in the notorious United Nations gang, was shot dead as he headed for a flight at the domestic departure terminal.

    ​A witness told Canadian Global News he saw two men dressed in black fire more than a dozen shots at Grewal, who is believed to have been trying to flee the gang war by getting on a plane to another part of Canada.

    The gunmen got away but passengers, who initially feared it was a terrorist attack, were left traumatised.

    The Vancouver Sun’s veteran crime correspondent Kim Bolan wrote that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Surrey, a city just south of Vancouver, had warned people six years ago to steer clear of Grewal after he refused to co-operate with police after being subjected to another assassination attempt.

    ​Grewal, 28, had been a close friend of Jimi Sandhu, a gangster who was deported to India in 2016 for “serious criminality”.

    Sunday’s killing is just the latest in what has become known as the Lower Mainland gang war, after the districts on the southern and eastern edge of Vancouver where it is being fought.

    ​Just 24 hours before Grewal’s killing 19-year-old Tony Dalipi was gunned down in a vape shop in Burnaby.

    On 4 May Keryane Arsenault, 20, was killed in the city of Surrey and on 21 April Todd Gouwenberg, 46, was assassinated when he arrived at a gym in Langley, another dormitory town east of Vancouver.

    ​Gouwenberg was also reportedly linked to the United Nations gang.

    The United Nations gang, also known as the Global United Nations Syndicate (GUNS) get their name because their members are from various ethnic minorities. 

    ​In 2013 five UN gangsters were jailed for attempting to kill Jonathan, Jarrod and Jamie Bacon, leaders of the rival Red Scorpions gang.

    But the current conflict appears to be between the UN and a new rival, Brothers Keepers, whose members are drawn from the Indo-Canadian community.

    It is believed to be a turf war over British Columbia’s lucrative drugs trade.

    Although cannabis was legalised last year, there remains a lucrative trade in cocaine, heroin, ketamine and ecstasy.

    Tags:
    cocaine, Canada, British Columbia, Vancouver
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