Tuesday, September 16, 2008

B.C. Gangsters and that Liberal Lawyer - Kuldip Singh Chaggar

A disgraced Vancouver lawyer, already notorious for his role in the Air India Bombing Trial and for being arrested in 2004 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is back in the news. Kuldip Singh Chaggar was thrust back into the spotlight by the Vancouver Sun's ACE crime reporter Kim Bolan. Chaggar, some may remember, was convicted in a federal court in Seattle and later returned to live amongst us. If you Google him you will find listings for Chaggar's old law practice in Burnaby Metrotown, but that business is defunct.

On September 3rd the SUN published a story on the criminal background of James Edward O'Toole an erstwhile rock musician who was murdered in August. Man killed in cab on Commercial had a violent past
The man local media had been assuring us was an innocent musician tragically slain on the cusp of a breakout career, turned out to have an extensive criminal past... with convictions for possession of narcotics, stolen property and for brandishing a pistol outside a nightclub in downtown Vancouver. In 2003 O'Toole used a loaded Walther PPK pistol to make a statement on Richards Street, but the B.C. "Justice System" seems to have decided to issue the gangster associate a pass. He was able to travel to Hong Kong, the Philippines and Australia unimpeded. After his death a police spokesman admitted that O'Toole was known to every Law Enforcement Agency in the urban British Columbia.

The Big Fellah is dead. James Edward O'Toole was shot to death in a Vancouver taxicab but nobody has bothered to delete his "Jed Cruz" promo website. We now learn that the "musician" had a lenghty criminal record which was concealed from the public and also from INTERPOL.

These porcelain PPKs are authorized by WALTHER, and legal for carry in the City of Vancouver. O'Toole (Jed Cruz), no doubt a James Bond fan, brandished the illegal and loaded PPK in front of a downtown nightclub.

The really interesting aspect of the SUN story was the reemergence of Kuldip Singh Chaggar, which connects the O'Toole killing to a couple of bigger stories. Chaggar should be more widely known because over the years he has helped several local "names" get elected. One senses that Bolan is holding something back, but she deserves our appreciation for broadening the investigation of local gang activity and underworld connections to the professional class - realtors, acountants, lawyers, etc.

Kuldip Singh Chaggar made an enviable string of contacts in Vancouver politics - among Federal LIBERALS, B.C. LIBERALS and Burnaby Civic Councillors. He also once had a weekly show on Shaw Cable TV. Then his mask slipped and the dangerous truth was revealed. A U.S. federal court did us all a service by clipping Chaggar's wings.

In the following extract from the Bolan article we see that CHAGGAR is mentioned by name 13 times. In effect the SUN article was about the disgraced Burnaby lawyer and not about the aspiring rock performer.

"The Vancouver Sun has learned that O'Toole's name also came up in late 2005 at the Seattle witness-tampering trial of former Vancouver lawyer Kuldip Singh Chaggar.
Chaggar was followed by the RCMP as he had a meeting with O'Toole and a second man, who police described as a known criminal.
Chaggar's lawyer, Jeff Robinson, complained in U.S. Federal Court in August 2005 that the RCMP were inappropriately attempting to influence Chaggar's case because of Chaggar's long-time representation of convicted Air India bomber Inderjit Singh Reyat. His proof, Robinson said, was that his law office had just received a package from the state attorney's office containing surveillance photographs taken by the RCMP on May 31, 2005 of Chaggar with O'Toole and the other criminal in Vancouver.
At the time the RCMP told The Sun that Canadian investigators were watching Chaggar at the request of the U.S. state attorney.
Chaggar was convicted of witness-tampering and sentenced to almost two years in jail. He is back in Vancouver, but was unreachable Tuesday.
O'Toole is the fourth Metro Vancouver gangster linked to Chaggar who has been gunned down in the last three years.
Two others identified at Chaggar's trial, Gurpreet Singh (Gary) Dhaliwal and Inderjit Singh (Andy) Rai, were slain in Surrey in January 2006 and May 2005 respectively. Evidence showed both men had approached Chaggar to ask a jailed gang member to change her statement to authorities after she was caught entering Canada with $1.5 million worth of cocaine for Dhaliwal's organization.
Chaggar is also linked to Tommy Ho Sing Chan, who was shot in the head in the Richards on Richards nightclub in May 2006. Property records show that after the former lawyer was convicted in the U.S. case, he sold his Whistler condo to Chan, then 30, with a lengthy criminal history, and a Delta businessman named Patrick Thomas O'Toole.
The Sun could not confirm if James O'Toole and Patrick O'Toole are related.
The title transfer documents were signed by Chaggar on June 13, 2005 and he received $360,000 in the sale - less than what he paid for the Hillcrest Drive condo three years earlier. When Chan was killed, Patrick O'Toole bought out the gangster's one-third interest in the condo.
At the time of his murder, Chan was living at his mother's Vancouver house at 827 East 32nd Ave.
Two other young gangsters were shot to death after being lured to the same house in May 2004. None of these gangland murders has yet resulted in charges, though the cases all remain open."

I urge you to download Kim Bolan's article, as I have, and keep it for reference. This story has legs and these execution killings will continue. It will take some effort on our part to keep up with events and it isn't easy to sort the local outlaws from the innocents.


Postscript - I can't help smiling at this little coincidence. The GLOBE & MAIL today reported comments of a B.C. Liberal strategist who thinks it's good election optics to bray about getting tough on the Drug Gangs. "Liberals planning gang task force for B.C. " IAN BAILEY - September 16, 2008 at 4:00 AM EDT
VANCOUVER — Federal Liberals in B.C. will propose a “guns-and-gangs task force” Tuesday as a plank in their made-in-B.C. platform – a bid to lure voters in a province where gang-related violence has taken a heavy toll...

How many B.C. Liberal signatures were on the petition to get Kuldip Singh Chaggar, a Liberal stalwart, sprung from the Federal detention center in Seattle?

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