News East West
TORONTO: An Indo-Canadian former police officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been jailed for eight year by a court in Seattle for his role in drug smuggling across the US-Canada border.
Rapinder Singh Sidhu from the city of Abbotsford near Vancouver left the RCMP in 2003 citing discrimination and entered into a conspiracy with the Hells Angeles to smuggle drugs and make quick money, said US District Judge Robert S. Lasnik in Seattle on Friday at the sentencing hearing for the rogue Indo-Canadian former cop.
The drug smuggling involved bringing cocaine from the US into Canada and sending marijuana from Canada into the US.
During the hearings, US Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said that Sidhu “used his special knowledge and skills, obtained through that privileged position (in the RCMP), to earn for himself and his criminal associates large sums of money in the international cocaine trade.’’
Sidhu was instrumental in recruiting a Canadian border guard to facilitate cocaine smuggling into Canada through customs checkpoints.
The court heard how Sidhu recruited this Canadian border guard who was “a younger kid he knew from his own neighbourhood” for his smuggling operations. This border guard allowed Sidhu’s vehicles carrying up to 270 kilograms of cocaine into Canada.
In all, more than 756 kilograms of cocaine was seized from Sidhu and fellow drug smugglers. It is valued at $3.5 million.
The US Attorney Jenny A. Durkan, who had asked for eight years in jail for Sidhu, said at the sentencing of the disgraced Indo-Canadian, “ Mr. Sidhu recruited another public servant to the scheme, and used threats of violence to force others into criminal conduct. His greed led him to become a trusted member of an organized crime conspiracy who sold his specialized knowledge from years in law enforcement.’’
Sidhu was indicted for drug smuggling in 2011 and convicted last October.
Drug smuggling has been a big lure for many in the Indo-Canadian community to become rich quickly. In the 1990s, many Indo-Canadian drug gangs sprang up in British Columbia, leading to gang wars and killings of over 150 youths over the years.
Many Indo-Canadian truck drivers have also been busted for cross-border drug smuggling.