Two sentenced in high-profile killing of B.C. gangster, but murderer still at large

Click to play video: 'B.C. gangster sentenced in absentia for Vancouver shooting'
B.C. gangster sentenced in absentia for Vancouver shooting
A B.C. gangster has been sentenced to life for the shooting death of a rival, but as Angela Jung reports, he won't be in prison anytime soon because he's still on the loose after escaping from jail. – Dec 11, 2023

A notorious criminal has been sentenced in absentia for the high-profile killing of gangster Sandip Duhre in Vancouver more than a decade ago, but continues to evade police more than a year after busting out of prison.

Rabih Alkhalil was convicted of first-degree murder in the brazen shooting in the lobby of the Sheraton Wall Centre on Jan. 17, 2012, but escaped from the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam, B.C. last summer.

His current whereabouts are unknown and he remains on Canada’s top 25 most-wanted list of the BOLO Program, with RCMP offering a $100,000-reward for information leading to his arrest.

Click to play video: 'Canadian authorities identify 2nd, and 5th most wanted fugitives'
Canadian authorities identify 2nd, and 5th most wanted fugitives

Alkhalil was sentenced to life behind bars with no chance of parole for 25 years, convicted of first-degree murder in the Duhre killing, as well 20 years for conspiracy to commit murder in relation to the November 2012 shooting of gang ally Sukh Dakh in Burnaby.

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Hells Angel Larry Amero, who appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Monday, was also sentenced to 18 years of prison with credit for time served on two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. One count was for the Duhre hit, and the other was for Dakh killing later that year.

“Acts of personal vengeance carried out in busy public places pose an enormous threat to the general public. The risk that innocent bystanders could’ve been hurt or killed was immeasurable,” Justice Miriam Maisonville said in the Monday sentencing of the co-conspirators.

Amero has been in prison since January 2018, meaning he has a little over nine years left on his sentence. He will have a lifetime firearms ban, orders not to communicate with Alkhalil, Dakh’s family members, and others.

Click to play video: 'Crime Stoppers Cold Cases: The search for two of BC’s most wanted.'
Crime Stoppers Cold Cases: The search for two of BC’s most wanted.

The Duhre killing was Vancouver’s first homicide of the year, and took place when the hotel was packed with athletes as the city hosted a qualifying tournament for the summer Olympics.

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People were dining in the hotel restaurant when a gunman entered the lobby. Alkhalil was spotted at the hotel bar near the time of the crime, and police soon suspected he had hired the hitman to kill Duhre, who was known to be his rival.

After evading police in Montreal, Alkhalil was captured in Greece in February 2013, taken into custody by Greek authorities for having a fake passport.

At the time, he was also wanted in connection with the Toronto killing of 35-year-old Johnny Raposo. Alkhalil was later sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for first-degree murder in that hit as well.

Click to play video: 'New images of suspects in Robby Alkhalil jail escape'
New images of suspects in Robby Alkhalil jail escape

As Alkhalil was on trial for the Vancouver shooting, he escaped from jail with the assistance of two accomplices who posed as contractors. At the time, RCMP released footage of the escape that showed two men in high-visibility vests freeing him before fleeing the scene in a white van.

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The Duhre trial continued without Alkhalil and the jury later found him guilty of the first-degree murder.

Alkhalil is known to go by various names including Rabi, Robby, Robbi, Rabih Al Khalil, Philip Betencourt Furtado and Philip Bettenecourt Furtado.

It’s possible he has changed his appearance, having previously undergone nose surgery, and it’s unclear whether he’s in Canada or abroad, having previously created fake documents and passports.

There is currently an Interpol notice out for Alkhalil’s arrest.

— with files from Jules Knox and Elizabeth Sargeant 

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