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Man linked to notorious Dhak group shot to death in Starbucks in Nueva Vallarta

Monday, 30 April 2012

A high-ranking gangster from B.C. was gunned down in Mexico late Friday night. Lower Mainland resident Thomas Gisby, 47, was shot to death inside a Starbucks in the tourist town of Nuevo Vallarta. Gisby is believed to be linked to Metro Vancouver's notorious Dhak group, whose members, alongside the Duhre gang, have been the subject of retaliatory hits since last summer's wellpublicized Kelowna murder of Red Scorpion Jonathon Bacon. Hells Angel associate Larry Amero was also wounded in the daylight shooting. RCMP Chief Supt. Dan Malo, head of the RCMP's Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said Mexican officials informed local police of Gisby's murder Friday night. "It's very unusual we speak this quickly, but it's important given the heightened situation of gang violence that we've seen in British Columbia of late," said Malo at an impromptu news conference in Surrey on Saturday evening. "These organized-crime targets have no boundaries and the police are going to be paying particular attention to this group here in the foreseeable future to see what impact [the murder] has." According to the Mexican newspaper Vanguardia, Gisby was shot twice in the head by waiting assassins, who fled in a gold-coloured VW Jetta. Two .44-millimetre shell casings were found at the scene and one suspect is in custody. There is no indication if the suspect is a Canadian. Gisby had been living in Mexico since he was targeted in a motorhome explosion near Whistler last winter, according to a Province source. The motorhome was sitting in a parking lot off Highway 99 in the Callaghan Valley when an explosive device was attached to the vehicle. Malo could only confirm Gisby was linked to the Whistler attack, in which he suffered superficial burns. RCMP liaison officers will be speaking to Mexican authorities in the coming days to flesh out the details surrounding the slaying. Canada's department of foreign affairs is also investigating the murder. "We knew that that individual was down in Mexico," Malo said. "We are spending a tremendous amount of police resources right now dealing with the issues of gang violence and the spike we've seen of late ... we are aware, we have intelligence to suggest there has been and will be retaliatory action." A similar warning was issued by police in the fall of 2011, when Gang Task Force Supt. Tom McCluskie said "anybody associated with the Duhre or Dhak group is subject to retaliation or to violence from other gangs they're in conflict with." It is believed the Dhaks and Duhres are involved in a turf war with elements of the nowdefunct Red Scorpions gang, the Independent Soldiers and some Hells Angels associates. That warning proved credible in January 2012, when notorious Vancouver gangster Sandip "Dip" Duhre, 36, was killed in a hail of bullets at a busy restaurant in downtown Vancouver's Sheraton Wall Centre. Malo also warned B.C.'s youth and lower level gangsters that no organized criminal is untouchable, even outside the country. "It's somebody who thought obviously he was untouched and thought he was at a level of organized crime that he thought he was protected - clearly not the case," he said. "It shows as well that no matter where you are in the world, if you're involved in that level of organized crime and that level of gang conflict, those gangs have the abilities and have the resources to get to you wherever you happen to be." Malo said high-ranking B.C. gangsters have influence internationally to bring illegal drugs and guns into the country, and are risking their lives to do so on foreign soil. Gisby had largely avoided the law in his years in B.C, according to court records. A man by that name appeared in court in January 1999, charged with invoking fear of injury and damage to a property in White Rock. He was released after issuing a peace bond. Another prominent member of the United Nations gang was killed earlier this year in Culiacán, Mexico - the home of the Sinaloa Cartel gang. The Dhak group first appeared on police radar in 1998 following the nightclub hit of glamorized gangster Bindy Johal. In October 2010, Gurmit Singh Dhak was shot in the face in a hit police deemed targeted. The RCMP's Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit consists of 14 B.C. police departments.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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