A $100,000 reward is being offered for the capture of a B.C. man who is charged with killing former Vancouver gangster Jimi Sandhu in Thailand in February.
Gene Karl Lahrkamp, 36, returned to Canada after Sandhu was gunned down outside his beachfront villa on the island of Phuket in the early hours of Feb. 5.
Lahrkamp owns a house in Trail, where he had been living and breeding dogs before the murder of Sandhu, a high-level United Nations gangster who grew up in Abbotsford.
Sandhu was deported from Canada in 2016 for serious criminality, but maintained his influence within his criminal organization both here and abroad.
The national Bolo program — short for ‘Be on the lookout’ — announced a top-25 list of fugitives and rewards at a Toronto news conference Tuesday. Lahrkamp was in the second spot behind an accused Toronto killer charged with shooting a stranger to death.
The four-year-old organization plans an “amplification” campaign using social media and other tools to alert Canadians to the photos and names on the list.
Lahrkamp’s co-accused Matthew Dupre, also 36, was arrested in Sylvan Lake, Alta. on Feb. 20 on a provisional arrest warrant issued by the Royal Thai Police. He has been remanded in custody to await an extradition hearing. Both men are ex-Canadian military.
B.C.’s anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit also has its own separate investigation into Lahrkamp and Dupre “to determine what offences, if any, took place in Canada,” Insp. Joel Hussey said Tuesday.
As part of that probe, Dupre has been interviewed by investigators, Hussey said, but added that he “can’t really speak to what (Dupre) did or didn’t say.”
Hussey said he hopes the support of the Bolo program and the reward will lead to more tips as to where Lahrkamp may be.
His military association and background “might allow for him to be anywhere in Canada,” Hussey said. “We do believe that he’s still in Canada, but not but ruling out that he could be anywhere else.”
Bolo has had successful campaigns related to B.C. fugitives before. After a campaign to locate UN gang leader Conor D’Monte for a 2009 murder, D’Monte was finally arrested in Puerto Rico in late February. Canada has filed an application with the U.S. government for his extradition.
Troubling to organized crime investigators across Canada are the increasing global connections between gangs here and criminal organizations abroad.
Just behind Lahrkamp on the most-wanted list is Kir Brian Granado, a Calgary member of the Fresh off the Boat Killers — or FK gang — charged in a 2015 murder.
The FK is directly connected to the UN gang both within Canada and internationally, Calgary Police Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta said Tuesday.
There is also a $100,000 reward for information leading to Granado’s arrest. The Bolo poster says he has connections to Edmonton and Vancouver.
Schiavetta said investigators believe Granado is currently hiding in Toronto, where he is linked to number five on the list, Tommy Ngo. Ngo is wanted for a 2015 murder in Ontario.
“We believe that Tommy and Kir are both being supported by the same criminal organization,” Schiavetta told Postmedia. “One thing we’re worried about is that Granada will flee the country.”
Hussey said the Bolo program is an important tool in tackling organized crime.
“Organized crime has no boundaries,” he said. “Working with the Bolo program is one tool that we have that CFSEU is utilizing right to combat organized crime.”
Another B.C. fugitive, John Norman MacKenzie, 61, made the top-25 list. The convicted killer is wanted for being unlawfully at large after escaping from Mission Institution in 2018.
Bolo program director Max Langlois said Tuesday that the top-25 list is “a first-of-its-kind initiative that brings together information about most-wanted suspects from across the country.”
“The top-25 list is a living document that will be updated frequently. Fugitives will be removed and added as arrests occur and additional police partnerships are formed. A variety of jurisdictions and crimes will always be highlighted,” he said.
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers executive-director Linda Annis said the Bolo campaign should help attract “extra attention” to the B.C. suspects.
“These two fugitives, and the rest on the top-25 list, are accused of serious crimes,” she said. “Crime Stoppers stands ready to take anonymous tips on any information that will help find them.”
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