Mayor’s of Brampton and Surrey urge federal government to intervene due to an increase in extortion threats specifically aimed at South Asians.

Movie DetailerCanada Mayor’s of Brampton and Surrey urge federal government to intervene due to an increase in extortion threats specifically aimed at South Asians.
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Two Canadian mayors are urging the federal government to assist in developing a coordinated approach to address the increasing extortion threats targeting businesses in their cities, particularly those owned by South Asians.

In a letter sent to the Minister of Public Safety, the mayors of Brampton, Ontario, and Surrey, British Columbia, expressed deep concern for their communities due to these threats. The letter, signed by Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke, emphasized the need for a collaborative response involving multiple jurisdictions.

“These incidents have instilled fear in our communities and highlight the urgent need for a coordinated response involving multiple jurisdictions,” said the mayors. They urged the ministry to acknowledge the cross-jurisdictional nature of these threats and lead a coordinated response to ensure the safety of all affected communities across Canada.

“This is a trend we have not witnessed before,” Duraiappah stated. “The threats of violence have become contagious, spreading fear throughout the entire community.” He added that the police are investigating possible transnational connections to these incidents.

The mayors also highlighted recent reports confirming links between the extortion attempts and violent acts, including shootings. They emphasized the gravity of the situation and called upon the federal government, particularly the RCMP, to take a leading role in facilitating collaboration among law enforcement agencies. The goal is to formulate a comprehensive and unified approach to address this issue.

Brown shared that more South Asian business owners have been expressing safety concerns, indicating that their sense of safety has been shattered. He also expressed concerns about the threat originating from outside Canada’s borders.

In response, a spokesperson for the federal public safety minister assured that the RCMP is working with local police forces on the matter. Nevertheless, Brown stressed that it is not enough and called for the government to engage with Indian law enforcement agencies to apprehend the individuals responsible for these extortion attempts.

Last month, Peel Regional Police formed a task force to investigate the disturbing trend of extortion threats targeting the South Asian business community. Chief Duraiappah conveyed that these actions pose significant safety concerns and vowed intolerance for terrorizing residents.

According to the police, victims are contacted through various social media platforms, and monetary demands are made under the threat of violence. The demands are often in Canadian dollars or Indian rupees. The suspects frequently possess personal information about the victims such as their name, phone number, address, and business details.

In an extortion case investigated by Peel Regional Police, a 23-year-old man from Abbotsford, British Columbia, was arrested in December for allegedly shooting multiple times at a business in Brampton.

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