National coordination team is helping advance multiple extortions investigations throughout Canada

By Contributor
February 21st, 2024

A nation-wide alliance of various police departments across Canada is in place to help coordinate and advance a series of threat/extortion investigations underway.

The RCMP National Coordination and Support Team (NCST) has been established and is working with police departments in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and outside of Canada to address a number of similar type extortion and violence investigations that have targeted South Asian individuals and businesses.

Over the past few months the various impacted police services have met with the NCS Team and shared information about their active and ongoing investigations, many of which have resulted in arrests and charges. These coordination efforts are not limited by geographic boundaries and police are using all available tools and techniques in place throughout our country and beyond.

This national team has allowed the various police departments to discuss their investigational progress, share intelligence and information and where necessary leverage additional resources and supports, says RCMP Supt. Adam MacIntosh, NCS Team Leader. The team is looking at all similarities and motivations as well as reports that these incidents are associated to organized crime groups.

The NCS Team will not be taking over the various investigations underway, but will instead be providing national coordination, tools and support to help advance the investigations. The seamless sharing of information and intelligence through this enhanced law enforcement network will also expand the reach and impact of all police agencies involved.

Peel Regional Police quickly put together our Extortion Investigative Task Force (EITF) for the sole purpose of protecting our community and to hold those responsible, accountable. We are pleased that the RCMP will now assist in facilitating open lines of communication across Canada and better coordination and collaboration that will assist bringing these crimes to an end and ensure the safety of our communities, said Chief Nishan Duraiappah, Peel Regional Police.

Surrey RCMP remains fully committed to investigating reports of extortions targeting our South Asian business owners, said Chief Superintendent Shawn Gill, Senior Operations Officer at Surrey RCMP Detachment. The national coordination team now adds more resources across the board to enhance, streamline and align identifying, arresting and charging those responsible for these crimes,

The Edmonton Police Service has a dedicated team working on Project Gaslight, the extortion series now totaling 34 events in our city, says Staff Sergeant Dave Paton, of the Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement Section. We are working closely with the South Asian community that is being affected by these events, as well as our RCMP and regional policing counterparts. While the Edmonton series is not believed to be directly connected to events elsewhere in Canada, national coordination is essential to ensure intelligence sharing continues.

Generally, police in Canada have reported that individuals or businesses from the South Asian community are contacted through a letter, phone calls or social media and demands for money are made under threats of violence.

We discourage anyone from complying with the demands and to contact their local police department immediately. Holding those accountable is extremely important, and we also want to see what can be done to prevent these very traumatizing situations.

The NCS Team are encouraging anyone with any information about these crimes or any victims of an extortion related offense to please contact their local police.

In addition to the nation-wide assistance, the NCS Team will also be capturing best practises and assisting with education, awareness and prevention campaigns.

This post was syndicated from https://rosslandtelegraph.com
Categories: CrimeGeneral