Surrey and Delta: Drug War Zone

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Photo: Ray Hudson

Ray Hudson

Photo: Ray Hudson
Photo: Ray Hudson

Surrey: Last Tuesday the Surrey RCMP and Delta Police held a press conference at the Surrey RCMP Main Detachment to update citizens on the 19 shootings that have occurred in what is being described as a low-level drug war involving thugs of South Asian and Somalian descent cities over the past five weeks. Not a day later, shooters were at it again with an apparent duel between those in a Red Pickup truck and a Grey SUV near 128th and 66th Ave in Newton, not a block from Tawanimus School.

In last night’s shoot-out there appears to have been no one injured. But even when these gangsters do get shot, they refuse to cooperate with the police, which lead Bill Fordy, Chief Superintendent of the Surrey RCMP and Delta police to jointly confront the issue and explain what they know.

Statement from Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge:

Since March 9th, Surrey has had 16 shootings and Delta has had 3.  Together with Delta Police, we have determined that 11 of the 19 shootings are related to two groups who are involved in low-level drug trafficking.  The two groups are of South Asian and Somalian descent. We believe these two groups are competing over turf and have chosen to jeopardize public safety in that process.

This type of violence is completely unacceptable. Since the very first shooting, the Surrey RCMP has been working diligently with our law enforcement partners in Delta, the RCMP Lower Mainland District and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

Over the past five weeks we have used numerous tactics, including overt and covert enforcement initiatives and community engagement, to gather intelligence and evidence on those we believe are involved in these targeted shootings.

We have reached out to elders and leaders in both the Somali and Sikh communities. We also have two police officers who are involved in a Sikh youth leadership pilot program at our local temples. In addition, we have spoken to many of the family members of those involved in these shootings.

As a result of information shared at the press conference we held on March 12th:


  • We have received many tips directly to our office and via Crime Stoppers that have allowed us to identify several previously unknown persons associated to both groups.
  • We have identified and recovered one of the vehicles suspected to have been used in one of the shootings;
  • We have made one arrest. Delta resident Arman Dhatt was arrested Friday and has been charged with 12 firearms and drug trafficking offences. Our investigative efforts are continuing in regards to his possible involvement in the shootings.


However, the victims and intended victims of these shootings have been uncooperative with police.  Upon questioning, these young men have said things such as: “The bullets fell from the sky,” “I will take care of it myself,” “Don’t you worry about it… No need for you cops to be here”

One of the victims also told investigators that he knew who the shooters were and the motive behind the shooting but did not wish to tell police. 

While both the victims and suspects in these cases are determined to settle their differences outside the law, we are determined to stop the violence.  We are disappointed with the lack of cooperation from the victims and we know the community is frustrated as well. 

Today, I again appeal to the family, friends and those of you who know any of the people pictured here. We need information on their whereabouts, their connections, and their activities. Any information could benefit the investigations and help prevent somebody else being shot.

Police then released 13 photos and the names of victims or intended victims. The complete list of names and their photos are posted on the Asian Journal website, along with a complete timeline of the shootings. The public is urged to review them, and if any further information can be provided, contact the police or call crime stoppers where callers can remain anonymous.

Efforts to contact Mayor Linda Hepner over these latest shootings, have not been successful, however she has recently been refusing to comment, referring instead to the police.