Two South Asians Among “Criminals” Facing 100 Charges In Deadly Fentanyl Drug Trade

Raymond Ranu, 28, is charged with eight counts of trafficking  and three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and Shazhada Khan, 45, is charged with eight counts of trafficking.

VANCOUVER – Two South Asians are among dozen people facing 100 charges in the deadly fentanyl drug trade in the Lower Mainland, which was busted through a joint forces operation named Project Tainted.

Raymond Ranu, 28, is charged with eight counts of trafficking  and three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and Shazhada Khan, 45, is charged with eight counts of trafficking.

Recent spikes in fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths prompted a swift collaboration between the Vancouver Police Department, RCMP Federal Policing and the Burnaby RCMP.

Fentanyl can be up to 100 times more potent than what people think they are getting and using it to lace other drugs has been increasing trend.

The seizures include more than half a million different pills, seven vehicles, cocaine, and marijuana.

Burnaby Chief Superintendant Dave Critchley says this bust includes an attempted murder charge in connection with a shooting in South Burnaby in December. “The alleged shooter who has now been charged and remains in custody was believed to be involved in the drug trade and was a named target in this project.”

Police say they’ve worked their way up to one of the Lower Mainland’s biggest distributors and they wouldn’t be surprised if some of the drugs seized were meant for overseas.

“The goal of this project was to target those who were peddling poison in our communities, and to disrupt the local supply of fentanyl-laced drugs that were being distributed throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond,” says Chief Superintendent Kevin deBruyckere, head of the RCMP Federal Policing Program in BC.

“Project Tainted” began in the fall of last year and on February 17th, 2015, police executed 11 search warrants throughout Vancouver, Burnaby, and North Vancouver.

Full list of seizures:

7 vehicles

$215,000 cash

pill press

13,000 oxycodone

29,000 fentanyl pills

147,000 pills believed to be Alprazolam

503,000 coloured pills (yet to be analyzed)

9.5 kgs of crack cocaine

5.5 kgs of powdered cocaine

19.5 kgs of marijuana

1 kg of methamphetamine

3 kgs of hash

.5 kg of heroin

2,200 flaps of heroin

various other drugs including steroids and methamphetamine

various drug paraphernalia

4 guns

2 replica guns

1 bulletproof vest

Enforcement efforts were focused specifically on individuals and groups producing and distributing drugs laced with the deadly chemical. For the takedown of the Project, both the RCMP North Vancouver Detachment Strike Force and Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit contributed resources vital to the successful searches and arrests.

“The addition of fentanyl into already dangerous street drugs is a relatively new trend, which has exposed the inconsistent and callous production processes within the criminal drug trade,” says VPD Superintendent Mike Porteous. “The swath of devastation and death that’s been left in the wake of fentanyl-laced drugs is unprecedented for local health authorities and police.”

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid or painkiller similar to heroin, but 50 to 100 times more toxic than other narcotics, was associated with one-quarter of over 300 overdose deaths in BC in 2014. Users had either knowingly or unknowingly consumed fentanyl that was mixed with a variety of other drugs.

Fentanyl has shown up in liquids, powders and pills, and can be masked in virtually any consumable product. Fentanyl-laced marijuana, heroin, oxycodone and other party drugs, have resulted in the deaths of many occasional drug users. The drug does not discriminate, as overdoses have been seen in all segments of society.

Eight people were arrested as a result of the project, with additional warrants being issued for suspects who were not located during the searches. The total arrest count is now 10.

Facing Charges Are:

Raymond Ranu

Age 28

•             trafficking x 8

•             possession for the purpose of trafficking x 3

Yaseen Williams

Age 26

•             trafficking x 2

Walter McCormick

Age 50

•             trafficking x 2

•             possession for the purpose of trafficking x 4

Shazhada Khan

Age 45

•             trafficking x 8

Richard Smallboy

Age 23

•             trafficking x 5

Wesley Lau

Age 27

•             trafficking x 16

Christopher Diabikulu

Age 22

•             trafficking

Maboso Molemba

Age 23

•             trafficking x 12

•             assault causing bodily harm (Burnaby)

Mangongo Molemba

Age 23

•             trafficking x C2

Maksym Pefti

Age 22

•             trafficking x 2

•             possession for the purpose of trafficking

•             attempt murder (Burnaby)

•             use of restricted firearm (Burnaby)

•             unlawfully discharge firearm (Burnaby)

•             possession of prohibited firearm (Burnaby)

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