Gangs in Canada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Gangs in Canada are mostly present in the major urban areas of Canada, although their activities are not confined to large cities.

Gang prevention[edit]

Currently in Canada, steps are being taken to ensure public safety related to gangs. To be specific, the Brampton-Springfield MP, Parm Gill, is in the process of having his private members bill, Bill C-394, pass all steps before becoming a law. Bill C-394 is slated to make gang recruitment a federal crime, and committing the crime can result in years in prison.

Ethnic breakdown of gangs[edit]

Police-reported ethnic breakdown of youth gang members[1]


Black 19-25% (Somali 3%/Sudanese 1%/Caribbean 11%/African 6%)

First Nation 22-28%

Caucasian 17-20% ("Other Caucasian 7%/Irish 4%/Italian 7%/Russian 4%)

South Asian 12-14% (Punjabi 5%/Pakistani 1%/Sri Lankan 3%/Indian 4%)

Asian 10-12% (Vietnamese 4%/Chinese 5%/Korean 1%/Filipino 1%)

Hispanic 5-8% (Colombian 1%/El Salvadorian 2%/Mexican 3%)

Middle Eastern 3-5% (Lebanese 1%/Iranian 2%/Palestinian,Afghan,Syrian, Kurdish etc. 2%)

Canadian prison breakdown[edit]

White 52.6%, 27.1% Aboriginal, Black 7.4%, Other 5%, Asian 2.9%, South Asian 5%


British Columbia[edit]

Caucasian 22-28%(Mainly Outlaw Biker Gangs, Neo-Nazi/Skinhead/Racist Gangs & Mixed Ethnicity Street Gangs{Prevalent All Over BC Urban areas but most Prevalent Widespread across BC IN Smaller Cities Kamloops/Kelowna/Prince George}),

South Asian 14-20%(Mainly In Metro-Vancouver/Kelowna and Extremely Prevalent Surrey, BC[Majority Punjabi/Sikh But Prevalent Pakistani and other Indian gangs

First Nations 10-13%(Prevalent All Over BC Mainly in Smaller Cities Around Reservations {Kamloops/Kelowna/Prince George})

Hispanic 5-8%(North/Central/South American Cartels Involved In Drug Trafficking in Vancouver Ports and Main Trafficking Routes Across North America and Urban/Honduran/El Salvadorian/Guatemalan/Colombian Gangs),

Asian 25-37% (Mainly Metro-Vancouver/Kelowna{Mainly Chinese 15% Street Gangs and Chinese Criminal Triad Gangs and Vietnamese 7% Street Gangs and International Vietnamese Crime Organization) Other Asian 3%

3-5% Black(Majority Somali 1%/Afro-Caribbean 2% Gangs Mainly Prevalent in Surrey, BC and Currently in a Deadly Turf War With South Asian Gangs That Dominate Drug Trade In That Area)

5-6% Middle-Eastern(Majority Iranian 4%/Turkish 2%) Gangs with Most Prevalent Presence in New- Westminster,BC)


Alberta gang members are very hard to estimate due to lack of police stats of ethncity of gang members in the province.

First Nations 28-58%(Prevalent In All Major Cities In Alberta and in Smaller Cities Near Reservations{Majority Street Gangs in Lower Lever-Mid Level Drug Trafficking and Dealing As Part Of Named Official Crime Origination ex.Bloods})

Hispanic 12-33%(mainly Colombian Drug Syndicates That Are Believed To Have Connections With Central/South American Drug Cartels That Import From Vancouver as-well as Mainly Colombian and Central American Street Gangs Prevalent Mostly In Calgary And Edmonton),

8-20% Caucasian (Majority Are Racist Outlaw Biker Gangs That Are Extremely Prevalent in Small Alberta Cities as-well as Major Ones also Racist Skinhead/Neo-Nazi/ Gangs are extremely prevalent in both Drug and Hate Crimes, Majority Of Hate Crimes Pointed Towards: Muslim-Canadians,Indo-Canadians,African-Americans,-Asian-Americans & First Nations, also prevalent Mixed Ethnicity Gangs in Calgary With Large Caucasian Populations.)

Black Gangs 2-10% (Mainly Somali 5%/Sudanese 2%/ Caribbean (most Jamaican) 3%) Gangs Majority Only Prevalent in Calgary & Edmonton higher relevance in Edmonton They Mainly Work as unnamed Independent Drug Syndicates With Known Drug/Turf Rivalries with Outlaw Biker Gangs,Afghani/Lebanese.Punjabi/Sikh Gangs, A Smaller Fraction of Jamaican/Guyanese Gangs in Alberta Have Made A Presence.)

3-15% Middle-eastern 3-8%/South Asian 4-7% (Mainly Lebanese 3%/Syrian 1%/Iranian 3%/Afghani 1%) & (Punjabi 4%/Pakistani 3%)That work In Unnamed Individual Groups That Tend To Have Both Rivalries and Alliances With Each other, Middle-Eastern/South Asian Gangs are believed to be the Key Piece In Calgary's Recent Turf War (2015) its believed Over a Hundred Individuals In Independent Crime Gangs are Responsible For The Recent Violence Causing as of Nov. 14 2015 over 85 Shootings more Nearly 30 Shootings in only in Calgary's Ward 5 a Prominently Muslim and Higher Crime Area in Calgary, Its Believed the Middle-East/South Asian Gangs Are In Conflict With Each other As well As Somali/Sudanese Gangs/Caucasian Gangs/Vietnamese Gangs and General Violence Between Independent Drug Dealers.

Asian 5-15%( Mostly Vietnamese 8% Gangs That Have Prevalent Crime Syndicates All Over Alberta but Street Gangs Are Most Prevalent in Edmonton and Calgary Where They Are Known To Join Named Criminal Street Gangs or Work As Independent Movements Usually With North American Wide Connection a swell as Connections to Other Countries also Smaller Amount Of Chinese 4% Street Gangs that mainly have a Presence in More White-collar Crimes and major Drug Trafficking Organization Not quite qualifying As A Street Gang. Other Asian gangs 2%


First Nations 92-96%, Caucasian 2-6%, Hispanic 2%


First Nations 58-70%, Caucasian 12-26%, Afro-Caribbean 7-9% (African 6%, Caribbean 1%), Hispanic 3%, South Asian 2-3%, Asian 1-6% (Filipino 4%, Other Asian 2%)


Afro-Caribbean 30-36% (Caribbean 17% (13% of them Jamaican), Somali 6%, African 4%), South Asian 20-21% (Indian 7%/Punjabi 5%, Pakistani 3%, Sri Lankan 5%) Caucasian 21-25% (Italian 13%, Russian 5%, Other White 8%), Asian 8-9% (Vietnamese 3%, Chinese 4%, Filipino 3%), Hispanic 6%, Middle Eastern 4-7% (Iranian 3%, Arabic 6%), First Nations 3-4%


Afro-Caribbean 45-51%, Caucasian 21-29%, Hispanic 12%, Asian 7-9%, Middle Eastern 5%, South Asian 2%

Nova Scotia[edit]

Afro-Caribbean 35-48%, Caucasian 47-55%, First Nations 9-10%

Dominant gangs in Canadian provinces[edit]

Western Canada[edit]

In Western Canada (from B.C to Alberta), the most prevalent gangs or organized crime groups are Outlaw biker gangs, Asian Triads and Aboriginal Street Gangs, South Asian Crime Organizations,Middle-Eastern Crime Syndicates, Racist Crime Groups,Black Street Gangs,Hispanic Street Gangs,Mixed Ethnicity Street Gangs and Blue Collar Western European Mafia's, Chinese Triads, Central/South/Mexican Drug Cartels.

Extreme Prevalence of Indo-Canadian,Asian,Outlaw Biker and Mixed Ethnicity Gangs, Aboriginal Gangs Prevalence in BC Not Nearly As Large As Other Provinces But Present.

Central Canada[edit]

In Central Canada, (Saskatchewan and Manitoba) Aboriginal Street Gangs Reign Supreme as Majority Of Urban Native Youth Live In Central Canada, as well as Outlaw Biker Gangs have the Second Largest Prevalence also Smaller Black Gangs mainly in Winnipeg but Mostly Have Ties With Native Gangs.

Eastern Canada[edit]

In Eastern Canada, (Ontario and Quebec) due to the areas large population and diversity, there are a variety of gangs or organized crime groups, including Caribbean street gangs, Somali/Sudanese Street Gangs,Guyanese,Haitian,Jamaican,African Gangs and Large South Asian Gang Activity Very Prevalent in Both Ontario and Quebec with: Tamil. Sri Lankan,Punjabi.Sikh,Afghani,Pakistani,Indian.Large South Asian Gang Presence in Scarborough, Ontario. and Hispanic street gangs. Many of these gangs and organized crime groups are either enemies or allies with each other, and some also have international connections as well as Known European Crime Families and Mafia.


The most prevalent gangs in Canada include:

According to a 2004 police report, "The Hells Angels remain some of the largest and most powerful motorcycle gangs in the country, with growing influence in British Columbia and Ontario. Its presence has declined in other provinces due to police efforts, internal conflict and increased competition from other crime groups."[3][4]

The same report stated that Aboriginal street gangs are not as highly organized as other criminal organizations in Canada, but are amongst the most violent. Aboriginal people also constitute a significant portion of prison populations throughout Canada, and the number of First Nation inmates continues to rise at a considerable rate.[5] As of 2005 it is believed over 1000 Aboriginal youths were members of street gangs.[6]

According to the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (CISC), "The established, well-financed and -connected Hong Kong Triad groups and crime syndicates remain, to our mind, the biggest long-term threat to Canadian law enforcement and society."[7]

In addition to Triad Societies, other Asian criminal groups, such as The Big Circle Gang, have also established national networks based in the major cities of Canada.[8][9]

The Indo-Canadian community has faced a wave of gang violence across the country especially in the Western province in British Columbia which has claimed the lives of 100 Indo-Canadian males since the 1990s to present day who are disapportinately from the Jat Sikh community. The Indo-Canadian community in BC has experienced a wave of gang and drug related crime- the kind not seen in any community in Canada before.[10]

By city[edit]


Known crime groups in Abbotsford involve Punjabi/South Asian 34% street gangs, various Asian 13% crime groups, motorcycle gangs 7%, European crime groups 26%, and multicultural 20% street gangs. Abbotsford is also home to one of the most diverse gangs in the world, for example the United Nations which is a gang made up of primarily Caucasians, Asians, Indo-Canadians, Persians, and with smaller amounts of other ethnicities.

According to the Abbotsford Youth Crime Prevention Project the groups of people who are most vulnerable to become part of a gang in the city are first the street entrenched, sexually exploited or homeless youth at risk of gang and criminal involvement. The second are South Asian (Punjabi) youth who are at risk of joining or who already participate in gangs, gang like behaviour and/or criminal activity.[11]


Known crime groups in Calgary include Aboriginal 20% street gangs, Aryan Nation 20% groups, Chinese 6% street gangs, Vietnamese 7% gangs, Middle Eastern 12% street gangs (mostly Lebanese 4%), Somali 6% gangs, South Asian 12% (mainly Pakistani, Afghani 4%/Indian 2%/ and Punjabi Sikhs 4%[12]) street gangs, Mexican 10% drug cartels, Afro-Caribbean 2% street gangs, multicultural street gangs 5%, and outlaw motorcycle gangs 1%.

Between 2002-2009 there was a bloody gang war between two rival Asian gangs the FK and FOB gangs which resulted in 25 gang related murders of not only Asians but of gang members of European and (East) Indian descent.[13] But Worries of a new Turf war has made worries a reality as of November 14, 2015, 85+ Shootings have Occurred in Calgary where near 30 of those shootings took place in Calgary's Ward 5 and majority in 4 Neighbourhoods: Whitehorn,Temple,Pineridge,Rundle and were all drug related. Mainly Middle-Eastern,South Asian,Somali/Sudanese and Vietnamese Gangs are part of this conflict (Mainly South Asian & Middle-Eastern) has created more Violence in Calgary's NE/SE quadrant of the city, both heavily populated by Named Ethnicities.


Known crime groups in Edmonton include Aboriginal 31% street gangs, Aryan Nation 23% groups, Central European 4% organized groups, South Asian 4% gangs only really active in Mill woods area of Edmonton known as the most dangerous part of the city, Chinese 4% street gangs, Vietnamese 7% drug clans, Middle Eastern 5% (most being Iranian 2%) street gangs, Mexican 13% drug cartels, East African 7% street gangs, Bloods, Crips, Belmead Avenue, and outlaw motorcycle 2% gangs.[14]

However recently the arrival of Mexican drug traffickers, along with increased activity by outlaw motorcycle gangs, is changing the face of organized crime in Alberta especially in the major cities of Edmonton along with Calgary.[15]


Biker gangs have, at various points, played a major role in Halifax's crime scene, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s.[16] However, a crackdown on biker gang activity throughout Eastern Canada, in the wake of the Quebec Biker War.[17] Most biker gangs are composed of extended families or of close associates, providing little scope for recruitment or promotion from outside. The notorious Bloods and Crips have been a big part of Halifax's gang problem as well.[17]


Once home to organized crime figure Rocco Perri Canada's Al Capone, and Johnny Pops Papilia.[18] The Musitano Bros. who were convicted of the hit on Papalia, returned to their James North cafe but later moved when the art scene overtook the street they have since lived a low key life. Much of the gang activity is within the inner city, mostly within the downtown and east end, and mainly attributed to smaller street gangs. Areas affected by gang activity include: Grandville, the North End, Oriole Crescent neighborhoods, and much of the downtown sector. The Hells Angels operate out of a clubhouse on Gage Ave North.


Biker gangs operate from clubhouses based in Montreal. Over the years numerous members have been arrested, firearms and homicide charges. Between 1994 and 2002 a biker war between gangs led to a period of increased violence which would become known as the Quebec Biker war. Traditional organized crime has had a presence in the city since the early 1900s, mainly in the form of the Irish 10% mob and the Italian 13% mafia. There are also many French 11% gangs in the city.

Gangs in Montreal are mostly Caucasian 34% but there are minority gangs which are mostly of Jamaican 6%, Haitian 9% or Hispanic 23% descent. Other gangs 28%

United smaller street gangs made up of mostly youths are pocketed in different areas of the Montreal area, particularly in Montréal-Nord,[19] Sud-Ouest, St-Michel, Parc-Extension, West Island, St-François, Côte-des-Neiges, NDG, Ville St-Laurent (St-Low), Rivière-des-Prairies and St-Léonard neighbourhoods.

The city's largest street gangs in 2006 were:[20]

  • the Crips located in Saint-Michel, Pierrefonds, Villeray, Ahuntsic, Parc-Extension, Lasalle, Lachine, NDG, Little Burgundy, and Côte-des-Neiges.
  • the Bloods located in Côte-des-Neiges, Montréal-Nord, Rivière-des-Prairies, Laval, St-Léonard, and Ville St-Laurent (St-Lo 64).


Despite the National Capital Region being patrolled by five police forces (Ottawa Police, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Gatineau Police, Quebec Provincial Police (QPP)), the city of Ottawa is still home to a number of gangs, ranging from minor neighbourhood street gangs, to well organized crime families. Most street level gangs in Ottawa are located in the city's south side and the west end between the Debra area, and Lincoln Heights. The two most prominent street gangs in Ottawa are the "Bloods" and "Crips". Ottawa is also home to the biker gangs, Italian Mafia, however, major police operations resulted in the arrest of the groups hierarchy. To a lesser extent, there is also a presence of Asian 14%, Black 23%, and Hispanic 7% gangs in the city. There is also a rising tide of Caucasian 56% gangs in the city.

Gang activity in Ottawa spiked in the 1990s with many high profile brazen crimes including a daytime jewelry store robbery/shoot out in the Rideau Centre, a busy downtown shopping mall, and a random drive-by shooting murder of a British student on a busy downtown street. Today drive by shootings are rare and most gang activity includes narcotic distribution.[21][22]


Adult gangs in Saskatchewan are almost entirely aboriginal based.[23][24] The largest gang activity is in Regina and Saskatoon. There is also a branch of the Hells Angels in the province. Youth gangs are also almost entirely aboriginal based. Saskatchewan had the highest concentration of gang membership in Canada at 1.34 per 1000 in 2002[23] The website lists 108 street gangs for the Prairie region.[6]

Metro Toronto[edit]

Certain neighbourhoods in Toronto have experienced gang and organized crime activity[25] including human trafficking,[26] firearm trafficking, drug trafficking, robbery,[27] and Mafia/mob activity,.[28]

Toronto has a strong Italian 7% Mafia presence, most notably in Woodbridge and the St. Clair area of downtown. Gangs in Toronto are mostly Black 35% (Jamaican 18%/Somali 6%), Asian 12% (East/Southeast) mainly Chinese 5% and Vietnamese 4%, also a few Filipino 3% gangs, Jewish 3%, Eastern European 4% (Russian 3%), Middle Eastern 6% (Afghan 2%/Iranian 2%), South Asian 22% (Indian 9%/Punjabis 7%/Pakistani 6%), and Tamil 8% (Sri Lankan 5%/Indian 3%). There are also a few Latino/Hispanic 4% gangs from the United States that operate in Toronto.

Although Toronto's murder rate remains low, there has been a recent rise in gun violence in the downtown core of the greater Toronto area.[29] The two most focal incidents were the Boxing Day shooting, a shootout between rival gangs that resulted in the death of 15-year-old bystander Jane Creba on December 26, 2005 on Yonge Street, and a mall food court shooting at the Eaton Centre on June 2, 2012, which left two dead (Ahmed Hassan & Nixon Nirmalendran) and injured seven others, including a 13-year-old boy. Hassan was considered to be the targeted victim and is considered to be gang-affiliated[30] while others were considered innocent bystanders.

Bloods are also very prevalent in the city, and ironically, there are many Crip sets which started in order to compete with the bloods.

Several police raids in the city have targeted gangs in the neighbourhoods of Malvern, Jane and Finch, Driftwood, Falstaff, Galloway, and Rexdale.[citation needed]


Known crime groups in Scarborough include majority of street gangs in the Greater Toronto Area, and a long history of Canadian Gang Life.

Gangs in Scarborough come in a variety of mixes which are European 14%, West Indian/African 30% (most of whom are Jamaican 15%), Tamil 14%, South Asian 25%, Asian 13% (mostly Chinese 8%), and Afghan 4%.

Shortly after their neighbours in Torontos North York created the Up Top Crips (First Crip Gang in Canada) the influence spread rapidly East to several sections of Scarborough. Gangster and Neighbourhood Crips have a very long on going inner gang war dating back to 1990s with the Malvern Crews Crosstraxx Neighbourhood Crips long rivalry With Galloway Boyz G-Way Gangster Crips, along with the 2012 mass-shooting happening on Danzig Street just south of the Morningside Ave-Lawrence Ave East intersection in the Galloway area. Byrd Gang, a very affluent gang in North America started on Neilson Road and Crow Trail in the district of Malvern, coming from the street names in Malvern Finch Avenue and Crow Trail. Though Allied with the Crips in the area they all fall under Malvern Crew and keep the traditional name and color purple.

Tamil Tigers are known to have a large influence through several neighbourhoods between Eglinton Avenue East and the 401, and the Bloods are very active in parts of Central and West Scarborough, stemming from the original Down Bottoms back in Toronto. In 2008, There was an outbreak of MS-13 in Scarborough, and are documented to still be active in the GTA.


Known crime groups in Brampton include mainly South Asian 42% and Black 47% (Jamaican 29%) gangs but there are a few Caucasian 8% gangs in the city. For South Asian gang members in Brampton 80% were (Indian 6%/Punjabi 25%/Gujarati 4%), 15% (Pakistani 6%), and 5% (Tamil 2%). Most areas are claimed by the Punjabi gangs. Racial tensions between gang members in the city are mostly between South Asians and Blacks with less extent with Afghans 3% battling with Pakistanis.[31] Most of the cities gang and drug activity takes place along Kennedy Rd. Starting at Williams along Kennedy and ending at Steeles Ave,in the many housing complexs and low rise apartment buildings. Other gang infested areas in Brampton include Knightsbridge, Fleetwood, Hansen, Springdale, and Sandalwood.


Known crime groups in Mississauga include Black 20%, Chinese 16%, South Asian 25% (Indian 9%/Punjabi 7%/Pakistani 9%), Tamil 7%, Hispanic 15%, White 10% street gangs, and Arab 7% street gangs. Gang infested areas in Mississauga include Ridgeway, Acorn Place, Malton, South Common, Meadowvale, and Dundas/Hurontario.


Also, a very corrupt area of the Peel Region host some of the deadliest gang members in the region. Malton has a very deep gang influence. Gangs in Malton vary from South Asians 30% (Punjabi 13%, Tamil 9%, Pakistani 8%) to Black 54% gang members. Polish 6% and Italian 10% gangs have had some prominence in past years but have lost significance over the years.

Metro Vancouver[edit]

Known crime groups in Vancouver include Punjabi/South Asian 23% street gangs, Aboriginal 5% street gangs, motorcycle 7% gangs, Iranian 6% gangs, Hispanic 4% street gangs, Vietnamese 8% gangs, Chinese 17% Triads, Korean 3% street gangs, Filipino 2% criminal groups, and "multicultural" 14% street gangs.

Vancouver also has an Italian 3% mafia presence, and various Eastern European 8% bratvas are also known to be active in the Lower Mainland.

According to law enforcement agencies, the most powerful of these crime groups in Vancouver, are the motorcycle gangs, Indo-Canadian street gangs, and East Asian street gangs.[4] However, in recent years, "multicultural" street gangs have grown significantly in power and prominence, and have attained much media attention due to their involvement in numerous shootings and slayings throughout the city.[32][33][34] including the 2009 Vancouver gang war.

According to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia the ethnicities of people who died from a total of 160 gang related violence between January 2006 to Match 2014 were:[35]

▸ Caucasian (74 victims; 46.3%)

▸ South Asian (34 victims; 21.3%)

▸ Asian (33 victims; 20.6%)

▸ Middle Eastern (10 victims; 6.3%)

▸ First Nations (6 victims; 3.8%)

▸ Hispanic (3 victims; 1.9%)

▸ Caribbean/African (0 victims; 0%)


Gangs that operate in Surrey, British Columbia are Punjabi 59% drug gangs, Vietnamese 9% street gangs, Asian Triads 14%, and biker gangs 15% such as the Hells Angels.

Recently there has been an arrival of Somali 3% gangs that are engaged in a drug turf war with Indo-Canadians (most of whom Punjabi) over territorial disputes that has led to dozens of shootings.

Now reports shows homicides and attempted homicides have climbed compared with last year in Surrey, which Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton saying it is mostly due to the gang conflict this spring in Surrey and Delta.

Houghton says the shootings appear to have ended, mostly because some of the suspects have fled to India, while others have decided the police and media spotlight was too bright to remain involved. [36]


Winnipeg's gang activity involves mainly Aboriginal 67% gangs. There are also smaller numbers of African 14% and Asian 12% gangs in the city. Other gangs 7%. Throughout the 1990s, the city was and still is the Aboriginal gang capital of Canada.[37]

B.C.'s Organized Crime Families[edit]

Motorcycle gangs and Vietnamese gangs are considered the most sophisticated groups, while Indo-Canadian gangs rank among the most violent

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs[edit]

Size: There are 95 members of the Hells Angels in seven chapters in the Lower Mainland and Nanaimo. There are also dozens of "associates" who are trusted friends of club members and assist in criminal activities.

Criminal activities: Heavily involved in B.C.'s $6-billion marijuana-growing industry, importing and distributing cocaine, hashish and increasingly, methamphetamine. Extortion, debt collection.

Propensity for violence: High. The Angels rule by fear and intimidation and aren't afraid to use violence to protect turf and criminal interests. Police are concerned about the Bandidos, a U.S. motorcycle gang already established in Washington state, moving into B.C. and sparking violence.

Level of sophistication: High. This is reflected in the low number of successful prosecutions.

Geographic reach: The Hells Angels have a network of chapters across Canada, the U.S., South America, Africa and Europe.

Structure/hierarchy: Organized into chapters in various cities, but no single crime boss. Each member works as his own boss, if he wants, and in small cells to elude police detection. "They are disciplined and well led," says Vancouver RCMP Insp. Bob Paulson, in charge of major investigations involving outlaw motorcycle gangs.


Size: Unknown. Police say there are dozens of small Vietnamese groups operating in B.C. The most prominent Asian gang in the Vancouver area is the Big Circle Boys, also known as Dai Huen Jai.

Criminal activities: Vietnamese groups control about 85 per cent of the marijuana-growing operations in the Lower Mainland and most of the drug trade on Vancouver Island, north of Nanaimo. They have recently branched out into methamphetamine. They also use Big Circle Boys connections to export pot to the U.S. The Big Circle Boys have made the Lower Mainland a hotbed of counterfeit credit- card fraud activity. BCB's mainstay is importing and distributing cocaine and southeast Asian heroin. BCB members have been involved in murder, loan-sharking, people-smuggling, extortion, home-invasion robberies and exporting stolen luxury cars to Asia.

Propensity for violence: Vietnamese gangsters are known for being ruthless and unpredictably violent during confrontations. Other Asian crime groups are more low-key, not wanting to attract police attention, but will resort to violence and murder to protect their criminal interests.

Level of sophistication: High. Vietnamese have developed a marijuana-growing system that has been exported to Vietnamese groups in Ontario and Australia. Big Circle Boys have computer experts for credit-card fraud and use off-shore accounts and shell companies to launder money and elude police detection.

Geographic reach: Vietnamese and Big Circle Boys have national networks in such major cities as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal, and are expanding into smaller cities. BCB has a similar national network in the U.S. Some local Asian gangsters are connected to Hong Kong triads, secret societies of criminals.

Structure/hierarchy: Asian crime groups typically organize in small groups with low-ranking members answering to a crime boss, called a Dai Lo (big brother).

Eastern European[edit]

Size: Unknown. They are difficult for police to get a handle on because they use so many languages. Members are from Russia and other former Soviet Union countries.

Criminal activities: Mainly known for drug trafficking and credit/debit-card fraud. But also involved in people-smuggling, money-laundering, extortion, export of stolen luxury vehicles. Also have infiltrated diamond industry in Russia and southern Africa.

Propensity for violence: Medium. Don't usually like drawing police attention, but will use violence if necessary.

Level of sophistication: Varies. Often rely on expertise of individuals outside the group to assist in a criminal undertaking. Three members of a Romanian crime group were recently arrested in Vancouver for allegedly being involved in a highly sophisticated automatic-banking-machine fraud. Police say they used a bogus card -reader to download magnetic-strip information from cards and recorded personal identification numbers by using a tiny, overhead camera linked to a remote video monitor. Eastern Europeans are also involved in counterfeit currency, exporting stolen luxury cars, money-laundering and smuggling women, especially from Russia, to work as prostitutes and in massage parlours.

Geographic reach: Operate across the country but mainly concentrated in Ontario. Highly mobile with varying levels of presence in B.C., Alberta and Quebec.

Structure/hierarchy: Operate in small cells.

Independents and Indo-Canadians[edit]

Size: Unknown.

Criminal activities: Independents are primarily involved in marijuana-growing operations, where profits are used to fund legitimate businesses. They often cooperate with Asians and Hells Angels to distribute their "product." Indo-Canadians operate many dial-a-dope operations, using pagers and cellphones to deliver drugs on the street. Indo-Canadian truckers are lured by quick cash to smuggle B.C.-grown marijuana across the U.S. border.

Propensity for violence: High, mainly because members are young and show poor impulse control. Shifting allegiances lead to violence, usually involving guns, among Indo-Canadian males. There have been more than 60 gang-related murders in B.C. involving Indo-Canadians in the last 15 years.

Level of sophistication: Low.

Geographic reach: Concentrated primarily in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, lower Vancouver Island and Alberta.

Structure/hierarchy: Loosely organized in small groups of friends and relatives.

Traditional (Italian-Based) Organizations[edit]

Size: Unknown.

Criminal activities: Involved in illegal gaming such as sports betting, marijuana-growing operations, drug distribution, overseas lottery-ticket sales, debt collection and stock-market manipulation. Invest profits in real estate and such traditional businesses as construction companies, bars and restaurants.

Propensity for violence: Medium to high. Don't like to attract police attention.

Level of sophistication: Medium. Most groups have existed for several generations.

Geographic reach: Concentrated primarily in Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara region of Ontario. While Mafia members remain low-profile in the Vancouver area, they do exist and have a symbiotic relationship with the Hells Angels in B.C. that is based on "social ties and illicit businesses," says the 2004 Annual Report on Organized Crime in Canada, published by the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada.

Structure/hierarchy: Operate in small groups but report to a crime boss known as the godfather.


Organized Crime Groups in Alberta[edit]


Asian Gangs[edit]

Asian gangs are characterized as sophisticated and large, with some gangs having more than a hundred members. Police reports have indicated that the number of individuals joining these gangs has continued to increase. Asian gangs are involved in criminal activities such as drug trafficking, illegal gambling, prostitution, counterfeiting, fraud and money laundering. In Alberta, conflicts with other gangs involved in similar business activities have resulted in infrequent but high profile shootings between gang members.

Aboriginal Gangs[edit]

Aboriginal gang activity has been recorded in Alberta. There are currently nine Aboriginal gangs identified in the city of Edmonton. Four of the larger and more organized gangs are the Alberta Warriors, Native Syndicate, Redd Alert and Indian Posse, with chapters in both Edmonton and Calgary. Gang activity does not appear to be limited to these urban centres, but also exists on reserves throughout Alberta. Police monitoring of these gangs has revealed a close relationship between Aboriginal gangs and the Hell's Angels. The Criminal Intelligence Service of Alberta has recorded "business" transactions between the two gangs. It appears they are working together and sharing profits from criminal activities such as theft, drug trafficking, robberies, assaults, intimidation and extortion.

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs[edit]

Law enforcement considers the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle gang a national priority. Across Canada, the Sons of Anarchy have remained a powerful and well structured criminal organization for many years. In Alberta, the Sons of Anarchy are the only motorcycle gang in existence, with chapters in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. Police affirm that Sons of Anarchy members are involved with the trafficking of cocaine, firearms and explosives, growth and distribution of marijuana, money laundering, intimidation and threats, collection of protection money from both legitimate and illegitimate businesses, fraud and prostitution. Law enforcement predicts that the Sons of Anarchy will expand in all areas of illegitimate business as new chapters of the gang appear throughout Western Canada.

Police have put a concerted effort into eliminating the Sons of Anarchy from Alberta. Alberta law enforcement has joined forces with other law enforcement services across the country in an attempt to gain perspective and optimize strategies for gang reduction. Undercover operations have been initiated for the purpose of eliminating the drug and prostitution trade run by Sons of Anarchy members. Police believe these operations have worked to their advantage, because they have incarcerated key members of the gang and witnessed increased infighting and tension among Sons of Anarchy gang members. Sons of Anarchy members have been officially charged with such offenses as extortion, assault and drug related charges in recent years.

Traditional Gangs[edit]

According to intelligence services, traditional organized crime has been active in Alberta since the early 1980s. Members of traditional gangs originate from a Mafia family based in the Montreal area. In Alberta, their region of activity seems to be primarily Calgary. Traditional gang members have been involved with money laundering, large scale frauds, drug trafficking and corruption within business communities.

Racist and Hate Groups[edit]

Law enforcement does not consider racist and other hate groups to pose as serious a threat as Asian, Aboriginal and outlaw motorcycle gangs. Although they do not have the size, strength and level of organization of other gangs in Alberta, they do make their presence known. These groups are known by names as "We the People," "Canadian De-Tax" and "Patriots on Guard." The main type of criminal activity of these groups is related to the chaos they create in courtrooms throughout the province, particularly when one of their members is in court. They are typically charged with contempt of court, obstruction of justice and assault.

Eastern European Organized Crime[edit]

Eastern European Organized Crime groups in Canada have remained primarily in Ontario regions. Law enforcement reports that they are emerging into Western Canada as a result of new working relationships with Asian, Aboriginal, outlaw motorcycle and traditional gangs. Drug trafficking, distribution of counterfeit money and an increased use of legitimate business to conceal and launder criminal proceeds have increased. Police monitoring of this gang activity has not reported any direct links except to indicate that some crimes are indicative of organized Eastern European offenses.

The interpretation of Alberta's gang situation, from the perspective of law enforcement and intelligence services, is established by the information gathered from monitoring and recording gang activity. Law enforcement agents indicate that gangs are continuing to expand in size and sophistication, leaving law enforcement unequipped and inadequately funded to cope with this growing problem. The role of law enforcement personnel is to "control" gangs, most often by charging and incarcerating gang members. Law enforcement services work closely with federal and provincial governments. They share a common goal of formally controlling gang activity through suppression (formally charging and incarcerating). Governments are the primary financial resources for law enforcement. Governments across Canada appear to strongly support law enforcement efforts. This is seen by their recent responses, including increased funding and legislative amendments intended to increase law enforcement powers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^,+ethnicity&source=bl&ots=kp6duJJNzu&sig=3bIRBI9ub2ZAszQNs1nzidKtbDI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCwQ6AEwBWoVChMI9srW1u_mxgIVAaQeCh2YRgBg#v=onepage&q=south%20asian%20gangs%20in%20canada%20race%2C%20ethnicity&f=false
  3. ^ "Canadian news, entertainment, television, newspapers, free email and more". Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  4. ^ a b "Asian gangs pose major threat, police report says". CBC News. 2004-08-20. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ a b, May 2006. "Prison Gangs in Canada". Inside Prison. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  7. ^ Lavigne, Yves. Teeth of the Dragon. Death Dealers: p. 104; 1999.
  8. ^ Chung, Alex (2008). "The big circle boys: Revisiting the case of the flaming eagles". Global Crime 9 (4): 306–331. doi:10.1080/17440570802543540. 
  9. ^ Wang, Peng (2011). "Vicious circles - Gang legacy of the Cultural Revolution". Jane's Intelligence Review 23 (08): 46–49. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Mark Totten (2012). Nasty, Brutish, and Short: The lives of gang members in Canada. James Lorimer Limited, Publishers. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-4594-0039-9. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Julian Sher; William Marsden (2010). The Road to Hell: How the Biker Gangs are Conquering Canada. Knopf Canada. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-307-36586-6. 
  17. ^ a b Mark Totten (2012). Nasty, Brutish, and Short: The lives of gang members in Canada. James Lorimer Limited, Publishers. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-4594-0039-9. 
  18. ^ Jerry Langton (2010). Showdown: How the Outlaws, Hells Angels and Cops Fought for Control of the Streets. John Wiley & Sons. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-470-67878-7. 
  19. ^ Vincent Larouche (2009). "2008 Montréal-Nord sur le qui-vive (in French only)". Info + Journal de Montréal. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  20. ^ Vincent Larouche (2009). "2006 Les gangs de rue se partagent Montréal (in French only)". Info + Journal de Montréal. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  21. ^ [2][dead link]
  22. ^ "Not guilty verdict in drive-by shooting | Ottawa & Region | News". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  23. ^ a b Criminal Intelligence Service Saskatchewan (2005). "2005 Intelligence Trends: Aboriginal-based Gangs in Saskatchewan" (PDF). government of Canada. Retrieved 06-04-2008.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  24. ^ "Native Syndicate". 2007-01-21. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Vancouver Sun- Cash flies as rival gangs battle it out in a BC mall". Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  33. ^ "Smuggled guns fuelling B.C.'s gang problem". CTV News. 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  34. ^ "Who are The Red Scorpions?". Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ Heather A. Howard; Craig Proulx (2011). Aboriginal Peoples in Canadian Cities: Transformations and Continuities. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-55458-314-0. 
  38. ^
  39. ^

Book: William O'Grady, Crime in Canadian Context, 2nd Ed (Canada: Oxford University Press, 2011) > Chicago/Turabian Citation