Chief Superintendent Dan Malo, the Officer in Charge of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, announces that Thomas Gisby, a high-ranking B.C. gangster was killed in Mexico.
VANCOUVER – A high-ranking gangster from B.C. was gunned down in Mexico late Friday night.
Lower Mainland resident Thomas Gisby, said by RCMP to be about 50 years old, was shot to death inside a Starbucks in the tourist town of Nuevo Vallarta.
Gisby is believed to be linked to Metro Vancouver’s notorious Dhak group, who alongside the Duhre gang have been the subject of retaliatory hits since last summer’s well-publicized Kelowna murder of Red Scorpion Jonathon Bacon. Hells Angel associate Larry Amero was also wounded in the daylight shooting.
RCMP Chief Supt. Dan Malo, the head of the RCMP’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said Mexican officials informed local police of Gisby’s murder at 9 p.m. Friday night.
“It’s very unusual we speak this quickly, but its important given the heightened situation of gang violence that we’ve seen in British Columbia of late,” said Malo at an impromptu news conference in Surrey Saturday evening.
“These organized crime targets have no boundaries and the police are going to be paying particular attention to this group here in the foreseeable future to see what impact (the murder) has.”
According to the Mexican newspaper Vanguardia, Gisby was shot twice in the head by waiting assassins, who fled in a gold-coloured Volkswagen Jetta. Two .44-Magnum casings were found at the scene and one suspect is in custody. There is no indication if the suspect is a Canadian.
Gisby had been living in Mexico since he was targeted in a motorhome explosion near Whistler, B.C., last winter, according to a Province source. The motorhome was sitting in a parking lot off Highway 99 in the Callaghan Valley when an explosive device was attached to the vehicle.
Malo could only confirm Gisby was linked to the Whistler attack, in which he suffered superficial burns.
RCMP liaison officers will be speaking to Mexican authorities in the coming days to flesh out the details surrounding the slaying.
Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs is also investigating the murder.
Malo said in his 28 years working for the RCMP, he has never seen police forces on this side of the border come together to tackle the escalating gang violence. The RCMP’s CFSEU consists of 14 B.C. police departments.
“We knew that that individual was down in Mexico, we are spending a tremendous amount of police resources right now dealing with the issues of gang violence and the spike we’ve seen of late . . . we are aware, we have intelligence to suggest there has been and will be retaliatory action.”
A similar warning of was issued by police in fall 2011 when Gang Task force Supt. Tom McCluskie who said “anybody associated with the Duhre or Dhak group is subject to retaliation or to violence from other gangs they’re in conflict with.”
It is believed the Dhak’s and Duhre’s are involved in a turf war with elements of the now-defunct Red Scorpions gang, the Independent Soldiers and some Hells Angels associates.
That warning came to realization in January 2012 when notorious Vancouver gangster Sandip “Dip” Duhre, 36, was killed in a hail of bullets at a busy restaurant in downtown Vancouver’s Sheraton Wall Centre.
Malo also warns B.C.’s youth and lower level gangsters that no organized criminal is untouchable, even outside of the country.
“It’s somebody who thought obviously he was untouched and thought he was at a level of organized crime that he thought he was protected – clearly not the case,” he said.
“It shows as well that no matter where you are in the world, if you’re involved in that level of organized crime and that level of gang conflict, those gangs have the abilities and have the resources to get to you wherever you happen to be.”
Malo said high-ranking B.C. gangsters have influence internationally to bring in illegal drugs and guns into the country, and are risking their lives to do so on foreign soil.
Gisby had largely avoided the law in his years in B.C, according to court records. A man named Thomas Gisby appeared in court in January 1999 regarding a 1998 offence in which he was charged with invoking fear of injury and damage to a property in White Rock, B.C. He was released after issuing a peace bond.
Another prominent member of the United Nations gang was also killed in Mexico earlier this year in Culiacan, Mexico – the home of the Sinaloa.
The Dhak group first appeared on police radar in 1998 following the nightclub hit of glamorized gangster Bindy Johal.
In October 2010, Gurmit Singh Dhak was unable to escape a second attempt on his life and was shot in the face in a hit police deemed “very targeted.”
His younger brother Sukhveer Dhak was in Kelowna around the same time last year Bacon was killed, according to court records.