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|Founded||Mid 2000s to present. |
|Founding location||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Years active||Mid 2000s - Present|
|Territory||Lower Mainland, Kelowna, British Columbia, and Calgary, Alberta|
|Criminal activities||Drug trafficking, money laundering, murder|
The Independent Soldiers, otherwise known as the IS, is a notorious street gang in British Columbia, Canada, which has been involved in the illegal drug trade and numerous killings since the mid-2000s.
History[edit | edit source]
The Independent Soldiers are a gang, formed by two or more East Indians from South Vancouver and Metro Vancouver municipalities. They had come together during the 1990s under the name "Sunset Boys" and by 2005, the IS were operating in British Columbia and Alberta, predominantly Kelowna and Calgary, respectively. As well, following the execution of a 2006 search warrant by police, a cache of weapons, cash, and drug paraphernalia were seized by police from a Kelowna house occupied by Independent Soldiers gang members. The IS was mainly made up of South Asians and Fijians however over the years they evolved and became more multicultural and accepted other nationalities in the group which built strength and helped make connections in the communities of Canada.
The Independent Soldiers activities may be social or criminal and members can be seen wearing their colors and logo with the initials IS on them. In the media they have been publicized as being involved in organized crime and engaging in turf wars, murders, shootings and other crimes with rival groups, although the group's main operations and activities are relatively unknown.
Among the more notable events, in 2008, an Independent Soldier member in James Riach was in a vehicle with known Hells Angels and Red Scorpion gang members that had been targeted by rival gangs in a brazen, broad daylight shooting outside the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort hotel in Kelowna.
Since 2013 there have been multiple arrests and seizing of property by Police of alleged IS members from the Okanagan region of BC and Alberta.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- "Gangs in BC". Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- Schwarz, Daniel (19 August 2011). "Notorious gangs of British Columbia". CBC News Online. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "Search warrant turns up organized crime". Bell Media Radio. 14 October 2006. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "Cash flies as rival gangs battle it out in B.C. mall". Prince George Citizen. 26 December 2007. Archived from the original on 29 January 2008.
- Bolan, Kim (23 January 2008). "Man killed in apparent targeted shooting in Surrey". The Vancouver Sun. Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 24 January 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "RAW VIDEO: Surveillance footage of August 14, 2011, shooting at Kelowna's Delta Grand hotel". Global News Online. 1 May 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
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