Saturday, October 27, 2007

Just Another Corrupt Border Guard?

November 8, 2007
Seized during the Kandola bust were 208 kilos of cocaine, an HK 9 mm pistol and HK .45-cal. pistol, a Sturm Ruger .44 magnum revolver, forty rounds of ammo, and about $200,000 in cash.

Yet another Canadian border guard is facing drug smuggling and corruption charges. Unfortunately we the public are refused any substantive personal details about the accused. Armed with facts we might connect the dots and come to our own conclusions about the illegal drug industry in the province. That ugly knowledge might deny our criminals their full libation from the great steaming cauldron of Canadian Human Rights protection. We might learn to pick a gang banger out of the crowd, and thus deny him his basic human dignity. Can't have that!
Law enforcement agencies, the CBSA in particular, have closed ranks - claiming that a corrupt border guard is a one-off phenomenon, and are releasing no arrest photographs or personal history of the disgraced agent or his two Sikh cohorts. Worse, the Vancouver media, is not even pursuing the case. Not one media company sent a reporter to the arraignment hearing at Surrey Provincial Court last week.

Baljinder Kondola is facing six charges including importing cocaine and guns, breach of trust and bribery. And get this... Kim Scoville, Pacific Highway District Director for the Canada Border Services Agency, told reporters that he had "mixed feelings" about the probe into Kandola's activities. "It was a successful investigation. Unfortunately, one of our officers was a key figure." He added that "this is an incident involving a single officer and does not diminish the pride and confidence that we have in the men and women of the Canada Border Services Agency." Really?

At a news conference in Surrey an RCMP Inspector named Malo also gave up very little. The long investigation is alleged to have resulted from a "tip" in early 2006 that a Canadian border guard was allowing drug mules to cross with impunity. (This specific corruption investigation was dubbed Project EPELL.) Scoville would only say that Kandola was a full-time employee who, after completing recruit training and passing a "reliability check" in June 2001, has worked at the truck side [Pacific Crossing] of the port ever since.

It is not revealed if Kandola is related to the infamous Robbie Kandola, the cocaine mobster who was ambushed two years ago in swanky Coal Harbor and executed on the sidewalk. A few private photos of Kandola had once been posted on the Net, but a loyal family member deleted them on the morning he was taken into custody. As well his clan was planning an expensive Caribbean retreat for November. So sad he had to cancel his travel plans. You will probably never see his face. Arrest photos are never made available unless our drug lords happen to get captured on the American side of the border, and even then the Vancouver media do not try to secure copies.

In December of 2005 border guard Atlaf Merali, was sentenced to one and a half years in prison for smuggling $1 million in drugs. Merali tried to brazen a crossing with his Canada Customs uniform on display in his van - "a random search of his vehicle uncovered about 90 kilograms of marijuana in four hockey bags in the back seat – covered by his uniform jacket." Merali is already back on the street, but no longer working for law enforcement.

Mindi Nedermeiser was another CBSA border guard "let go". Incidents stretching back to 1996, including her firing for breaches of security at Vancouver airport, did not preclude her being reinstated and then being offered trusted work at the Canada-U.S. border... not until someone ratted her out for associating with the Hell's Angels.

The police of course are exasperated by the exposed connections between drug gangs and uniformed members of law enforcement. Almost all of the weapons used by the gangs are smuggled into Canada along with the cocaine and heroin, and the outlaws are fully prepared to murder people with those guns. Execution-style murders of drug gang hustlers and soldiers are accelerating in Vancouver. There have been four in the last two weeks - a Vietnamese, a Punjabi, an Iranian and a Cantonese. Not a red head in the bunch, but at least someone zapped a Big Circle Boy. That's progress. These extra-legal executions have reached such hilarious proportions that the official spokesman for the V.P.D., Constable Fanning, was reduced to firing this squib on Monday -"If anybody is in that lifestyle and has information that they want to pass on - because they could be next. It is obviously a very dangerous, dangerous way to live when you are involved in criminal activity because the end result is ... death." Now the V.P.D. is begging career criminals to turn informer, in attempt to save their own necks.

The police make no headway in these killings because they are facing many of the same socio-political realties which prevented the Canadian State from convicting the Sikhs who blew up the Air India 747. Police can corner and arrest, but the hapless prosecuters fail to convict. Why? Because Canadians have created an "anything can be tolerated" society, and they are doomed to live with the monster they mothered. In B.C., we were just told, only 39 per cent of recent gang-related killings were cleared by police (compared to 68 per cent of non-gang homicides). But these statistics are just as meaningless as those which also claim that overall, murders are down. (Really? How many old dames are falling down stairs or choking on their spinach now that their houses and city lots are worth $700 - 800 K.? Anyone keeping stats?) This week the police and the politicians are making all the obligatory noises about setting up special investigative units (they've existed for years) and toughening the laws. Stand down fellahs... we all know the killings will only abate when the gangs are exhausted, and forced to call a temporary truce. The Lower Mainland is only getting a small taste of what the future holds in store. A money-culture is the natural setting for organized crime.

Even mouthy NDP careerists are now demanding that our streets be cleaned up. It's all too funny. Back in the 1990s when the Reform Party of Canada still existed, it was the only political movement which advocated building new prisons and sending gang bangers away for life. Local NDP and Liberal politicians filled their scrapbooks with generous press coverage in which they were allowed to condemn "scary" Reform MPs as "dinosaurs" and "right wing extremists". Fine. And the cities have now gone further to hell. Enjoy. That history of organized neglect is also the reason no one today believes the childish prattle of those same politicians. Wally Oppal is going to get tough on crime? Give me a break! The poor sod is just trying to live long enough to spend the three fat pensions in his portfolio.

Let's just hope the drug outlaws, who this week are driving around our city with loaded their guns in their cars, trying to get the drop on each other, will manage to shoot only themselves in the face. For that blessing we law abiding citizens will be truly grateful.

Update November 10th - I note the publication in the Vancouver SUN of rare honest commentary on politicians, gang violence and murder: "POLITICIANS PLAY THE HOT AIR GAME ON CRIME" Peter MacKnight wrote,"But we don't need to rely on anecdotes, since the research confirms that the problem is not a lack of punishment for gangsters who get caught -- it's that many gangsters are never apprehended. Indeed, the only "justice" many gangsters face is at the hands of their fellow gang members." (read his piece)

And further comment in a hard hitting editorial published in The Asian Pacific Post, October 26, 2007: " Police information says there are 129 gangs active in B.C. with many other small gangs seeking to establish themselves. Today’s gang violence is the result of yesterday’s complacency when politicians and police insisted on playing down gang activity in BC. Our benign view of smoking pot is another major contributor to the violence that has taken so many innocent lives and injured others." Absolutely!

And lest anyone dare think or remark that I am trying to denigrate law enforcement.... I can only respond that you don't "read" me at all. To the contrary, I am 100% behind law enforcement efforts at drug interdiction and serious prosecution. Creeps like the criminals I describe in this Blog were NEVER law enforcement professionals. They were INFILTRATORS who always intended to illegally profit and to subvert justice while employed in privileged duties.

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