Vancouver police say their city is now the "battleground" in a deadly "gang war," admitting on Friday to what has become increasingly obvious to a weary public.

There have been 12 fatal shootings around metro Vancouver since late January, including gunshots every night this week.

In a bid to reassure a shell-shocked public, police announced Friday they had arrested five alleged gangsters, including the two purported ringleaders.

Police also put a number of seized items on display, including an AK-47, handguns and a bullet-proof vest.

"As police, we've always been told by media experts to never say or admit that there is a gang war," Vancouver Chief Const. Jim Chu said at a news conference.


"Well, let's get serious. There is a gang war and it's brutal."

It was the third news conference held this week addressing the gang war.

On Monday, the RCMP and Vancouver police announced five arrests. Two days later, Chilliwack RCMP said they arrest two people accused of illegally importing ammunition.

But, none of charges announced Friday were related to serious gun charges or violence.

Friday's arrests include:

  • 58-year-old Udam Singh Sanghera, who was picked up on Feb. 23rd, and charged with seven counts of unauthorized firearm possession.
  • 31-year-old Barjinder (Bobby) Singh Sanghera. He was picked up on November 8th, and charged with six counts of unauthorized firearm possession.
  • Gordon Robert Taylor, 42, was also charged with unauthorized firearm possession.
  • 24-year-old Tejinder Singh Malli, who was picked up on Feb. 18, and charged with break and enter.
  • 28-year-old Bimal Datt Sharma, who was arrested on Feb. 18, and charged with break and enter.

Vancouver Insp. Mike Porteous said the men arrested are tied to two notorious gangs in the west - the Red Scorpions and the United Nations gang.

With files from CTV British Columbia and The Canadian Press