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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

British Columbia man executed in Mexico this week was a high-ranking member of the United Nation gang who had direct contact with Mexican cartels


08:28 |

British Columbia man executed in Mexico this week was a high-ranking member of the United Nation gang who had direct contact with Mexican cartels, the Vancouver Sun has learned.

Salih Abdulaziz Sahbaz, 36, had spent much of the last three years in Mexico and was the key cartel contact for the notorious B.C. gang, police sources confirmed.
But he also returned regularly to Surrey, B.C., where he had family ties.
Sahbaz was shot nine times with a .45-calibre handgun early Monday and was found at an intersection in Culiacan, capital city of the Mexican state of Sinaloa.
Sahbaz had taken over the Mexican end of business after two other UN gang members, Ahmet (Lou) Kaawach and Elliott (Taco) Castenada, were gunned down in front of a taco stand in Guadalajara in July 2008.
He is believed to have owed money to at least one cartel after losing a shipment of cocaine and was working off his debt.
Sahbaz had been active in the UN gang since at least 2004, when several other Iraqi refugees were brought into the fold by former leader Clay Roueche.
Sahbaz had been charged twice with trafficking in Vancouver and at one point was in charge of the UN's "Kurdish Crew" within the UN gang that controlled the downtown eastside drug trade.
But he also had a falling out with gang member Barzan Tilli-Choli after a Vancouver home invasion directed by Tilli-Choli targeted a friend of Sahbaz.
They were believed to have patched up their differences since then.
Court documents earlier obtained by The Vancouver Sun describe a 2006 New Year's Eve Party in Vancouver attended by Sahbaz and other UN gang members.
When police gang squad members checked out the event, they "recognized many of the males in the private gathering or party as being members or associates of the UN gang," the documents said.
Roueche was at the party with Sahbaz, who was kicked out of the club, according to the document.
Officers noticed that Sahbaz was wearing "a diamond-encrusted ring with traditional Chinese characters on it."
He allowed the Vancouver Police Department to photograph the ring.
The characters "translate into the English language as United Nations," the document said.
Gang expert Doug Spencer said he was not surprised to learn of Sahbaz's demise.
"It is more than expected," said Spencer, a former police detective now with Transit Police.
"I knew it was coming because he was living the life and when they are living the life, they all get it."
Spencer incorporates new gang murders into the anti-gang presentations he does in schools.
"It is an important message to get out that for these guys, there is nowhere to hide," Spencer said.
The UN gang has been hit hard by murders and arrests in recent years.
Roueche is serving a 30-year-sentence in the U.S. for drug smuggling.
Tilli-Choli and several others linked to the gang are awaiting trial for allegedly conspiring to kill the Bacon brothers, leaders of a rival gang.
Gang members Conor D'Monte and Cory Vallee were charged with murder a year ago, but have not been located. There is an international warrant for their arrest.:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder


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