B.C. GANG WAR: Sukh Dhak’s murder will only lead to power struggle, says expert

Sukh Dhak leaves BC Supreme Court Oct. 22, after the morning session of his drug trial.

IAN AUSTIN
VANCOUVER DESI

The brazen daylight murder of Sukh Dhak and his bodyguard, Thomas Mantel, will lead to further power struggles in B.C.’s lucrative gang business, predicts a gang expert and author.

“The public shouldn’t mistake this gangland murder of Sukh Dhak as the end of this gang war,” said Ranj Dhaliwal, the author of Daaku: The Gangster’s Life.

“Until we do something about the demand for hard drugs like cocaine and crack, we will never see an end to this.”

Dhaliwal said that with the death of Dhak, top spot in the so-called Dhak-Duhre gang is up for grabs.

“Gangs such as what Dhak had are large and there is always someone ready to fill that void in leadership and continue to fight over turf,” said Dhaliwal. “Everybody wants to be the top dog — that’s why they call them gangsters, not gang leaders.”

Dhaliwal hopes that impressionable young people will stand up and take notice before they get lured into a life of crime by realizing that the much-hyped gangster lifestyle often ends in death.

“I think that at-risk youth started believing that Sukh Dhak was invincible just like in the days of Bindy Johal,” he said. “This should be a strong message to our youth that the gang life will one day take your life if you choose that path.”

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team confirmed Tuesday that Dhak, 28, and Mantel, 30 were the victims of the Monday morning shooting at the Executive Inn on Lougheed Highway in Burnaby.

The twin shootings are just the latest chapter in a seemingly endless cycle of violence, as gangsters competing for the huge payoffs available in B.C.’s lucrative drug trade target the competition.

Dhak’s brother Gurmit was an earlier homicide victim, gunned down outside Metrotown in Burnaby during another troubling daylight execution-style hit in October 2010.

Anyone with information is asked to phone the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or to emailihittipline@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Alternatively, those wishing to remain anonymous can phone Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit the Crime Stoppers’ website at Solvecrime.ca.

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