International Mafia Orchestrates Extortion-Centric Crime Affecting South Asian Business Community in Edmonton: Police

"The victims receive a WhatsApp communication, from that there’s a request that comes along with that for compensation to allow those victims to remain safe," explained Staff Sgt. David Paton during a press conference.

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In a disturbing turn of events, criminal activities involving arson extortions and shootings have taken a digital twist in Edmonton, targeting South Asian building contractors. City police revealed on Thursday that threats sent via the WhatsApp app are the initial criminal contact in a series of incidents mimicking similar rackets across Canada since October.

“The victims receive a WhatsApp communication, from that there’s a request that comes along with that for compensation to allow those victims to remain safe,” explained Staff Sgt. David Paton during a press conference.

This criminal network has specifically targeted homebuilders in Edmonton’s South Asian community, perceiving them as affluent and capable of meeting the demanded compensation. Notably, the extortion amounts are substantial, raising concerns among authorities.

“The amounts that are being asked are significant,” Paton emphasized.

Despite law enforcement’s awareness of the networked nature of these crimes, the perpetrators continue to target new victims, evading capture. The situation has escalated, leading to five extortions, 15 arsons, and seven firearms offenses against established businesses in the South Asian community, causing an estimated $9 million in property damages.

A firefighter has been injured in the arsons, emphasizing the severity of the situation. Multiple shooting events and firearms offenses, primarily in Edmonton but also in nearby communities, add to the alarming trend.

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Law enforcement suspects that this criminal network, orchestrating these crimes, has connections to individuals in India. Of the six individuals arrested, one is believed to have fled the country, and another remains in custody.

While investigators acknowledge the difficulty in prosecuting criminals orchestrating crime from afar, they assure the public that efforts are underway. “Law enforcement has a number of avenues to pursue those that are trying to reach out from beyond,” Paton stated.

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is actively collaborating with other agencies, including the RCMP and Indian law enforcement, to tackle this complex criminal network. A dedicated task force has been assigned to the case.

EPS emphasizes the importance of community cooperation and encourages contractors and construction workers to report any suspicious activities. A town hall-type event is in the works, providing a platform for the community to share information and express concerns.

Concerned individuals, victims, or those with information are urged to contact the police immediately at 780-423-4567, referencing file #23-802638. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250. The safety of the city relies on collaboration between the police and the communities they serve.

Parvasi Media Group

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