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Joint investigation shutters alleged organized crime group in Calgary

More than 100 charges laid against eight people following long-term investigation

Calgary, AB (October 24, 2012) –Calgary's Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-Calgary), working in partnership with the RCMP Calgary Integrated Proceeds of Crime (IPOC) Unit, have arrested several people in connection with an ongoing criminal organization investigation in Calgary.

CFSEU-Calgary, an integrated team of Calgary Police Service and RCMP members, initiated the investigation after receiving information about a group believed to be trafficking cocaine and marihuana in the Calgary region, with ties to British Columbia's Lower Mainland.

On May 18, CFSEU-Calgary and IPOC executed search warrants at eight separate locations in connection with this investigation. In total, investigators seized 2.7 kilograms of cocaine with an approximate street value of $270,000 and one kilogram of marihuana worth about $10,000, in addition to one handgun, one shotgun, and one conducted energy device.

A week later, a proceeds of crime restraint order was granted and registered against a $1.5 million property in Rocky View, Alberta. In addition, investigators seized approximately $166,000 in cash, jewelry worth more than $18,000, and seven vehicles worth roughly $110,000 in total.

Seized Property in Rocky View Alberta

Seized Vehicle Seized Vehicle Seized Vehicle

Charged with numerous counts of criminal organization, conspiracy, drug trafficking, firearms, and proceeds of crime-related offences are the following men:

  • Parvinder Singh BAGRI, age 24;
  • Kalwarn Singh DHILLON, age 23;
  • Apraj Singh BASSI, age 22; and
  • Keerit Singh BRAR, age 20.

While BAGRI is a resident of Rocky View, Alberta, the other three accused are originally from British Columbia's Lower Mainland.

On October 11, as a result of further investigation, the following people were charged with one count each of laundering the proceeds of crime and possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.

  • Parvinder Bagri, a 24-year old man from Rocky View;
  • Rajvinder Bagri, a 22-year old man from Rocky View;
  • Gurdawar Bagri, a 50-year-old man from Rocky View;
  • Jatinder Bagri, a 52-year-old woman from Rocky View; and
  • Kanwal Gill, a 36-year-old woman from Chestermere.

To date, more than 100 charges have been laid. The IPOC portion of this investigation started in November 2011 and, while charges have been laid, the Integrated Proceeds of Crime section is continuing its financial investigation. The purpose of a money laundering and proceeds of crime investigation is to identify and seize assets that have been purchased or financed with the proceeds of crime and to seek forfeiture of those assets thereby removing the financial incentives from committing crimes.

It is believed that this group was able to gain the cooperation of a number of nominees, people who agreed to lend their identity in exchange for money. Police wish to remind the public that this activity is a criminal offence. Anyone asked to sell their identity should promptly report it to the police.

"The average Albertan may not realize how their lives are impacted every day by organized crime," said Gerry Francois, officer in charge of CFSEU-Calgary. "From the more obvious like violence in the community, to the less obvious like increased utility and bank fees as institutions try to regain losses associated with fraud, there are countless ways our lives are touched by this criminal activity."

Investigations of this nature require a great deal of cooperation and support from the public, local businesses, community organizations, and the law enforcement community. This investigation would not have been possible without the significant assistance of ALERT's partners at the Calgary Police Service, Public Prosecutions Service of Canada, RCMP, Abbotsford Police Department, and Vancouver Police Department.

CFSEU-Calgary is an ALERT team established and funded by the Government of Alberta to bring together the province's most sophisticated law enforcement resources to tackle serious and organized crime. More than 400 municipal police, RCMP and sheriffs work for ALERT.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Insp. Gerry Francois
CFSEU-Calgary
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
403-428-4701

Sgt. Stephen Scott
Calgary Integrated Proceeds of Crime (IPOC)
RCMP
403-292-8844
403-510-0851

Jill Baird
Communications
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
780-690-1839