RCMP arrest 2, release vehicle photos in extortion racket targeting B.C. businesses

Click to play video: 'Development in extortion investigation involving business owners across Metro Vancouver'
Development in extortion investigation involving business owners across Metro Vancouver
There has been a development in the extortion investigation involving business owners across the Lower Mainland. Surrey RCMP say they have arrested two people and need the public's help in identifying a vehicle of interest. Rumina Daya has the details – Dec 29, 2023

RCMP in Surrey, B.C., say they’ve arrested two men in connection with an extortion racket that has been terrifying Lower Mainland business owners.

In a media release, Mounties said the men, both in their 20s, were arrested in a residential area of Cloverdale on Thursday, but have been released pending further investigation.

Anyone who recognizes this vehicle is asked to contact Surrey RCMP. Surrey RCMP

Police also released a photo of a late-model white Audi e-tron.

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“We believe this vehicle was used during an incident in White Rock on December 4, 2023 at 12:09 a.m. in which shots were fired at a residence in the 13900-block of Marine Drive,” Sgt. Derek Bonner said in the release.

“These arrests are a significant development in this ongoing investigation,” he added.

Police in both Abbotsford and Surrey issued warnings in November amid reports of business owners receiving threatening extortion letters.

Click to play video: 'B.C. South Asian businesses targeted in extortion attempts'
B.C. South Asian businesses targeted in extortion attempts

The letters claim to be from an “Indian gang,” and demand $2 million in “protection money.” Recipients were given a month to comply or face retaliation — and warned if they go to police, “no more letter only bullet.”

RCMP linked the White Rock shooting to the extortion letters in early December and said they were working with Abbotsford police.

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In a leaked Abbotsford police memo confirmed by Global News, investigators said they believed the suspects were linked to the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, based in India.

That crime group allegedly  took responsibility for 2022 killing of Punjabi rapper Sidhu Moose Walla, who had roots in Ontario, as well as the fatal shooting of Sukhdool Singh Gill in Winnipeg in September.

Anyone who has been a victim of an extortion attempt, who has information related to the incidents or who recognizes the Audi is asked to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.

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