Sioux Lookout plane crash killed fugitive wanted for murder in Thailand

The flight of a fugitive named as Canada’s second most wanted — on the run after the murder of a gangster in Thailand — ended when a small plane crashed in remote northwestern Ontario last weekend.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) confirmed in a press release Tuesday that 36-year-old Gene Karl Lahrkamp of Kincardine, Ont., was one of four people killed when a small plane went down near Sioux Lookout on Saturday.

Lahrkamp and fellow Canadian Mathew Dupre, also 36, fled to Canada after being identified as suspects by the Royal Thai Police in the Feb. 4 murder of Jimi Sandhu.

The 32-year-old gangster was killed at his villa in Phuket by two hooded hitmen, Postmedia reported. Sandhu had been deported from Canada in 2016.

Thai police charged both men with murder and engaged Canadian authorities to help locate and arrest the fugitives, according to the press release.

The murder victim had gang affiliations and a history in British Columbia, which is why CFSEU-BC was leading the Canadian search for Lahrkamp and Dupre. The pair are both former Canadian Armed Forces members, Postmedia reported.

Dupre was arrested in Alberta on Feb. 20, but Lahrkamp remained at large. He was named Canada’s No. 2 most wanted on April 26 by the Bolo Program, which offered $100,000 as a reward for information leading to his arrest of him.

The Interpol notice for Lahrkamp cautioned he may be armed and dangerous, as well as potentially suicidal.

Ontario Provincial Police have identified three of the four people who died in the crash, including Lahrkamp; 37-year-old Duncan Bailey from Kamloops, BC; and the pilot of the privately owned plane, Abhinav Handa, a 26-year-old resident of Richmond, BC The fourth person’s name has not been released because her family has not yet been notified.

Bailey also had gang ties, Postmedia reported, and was out on bail after a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

The search for the Piper PA-28 Cherokee began early Saturday morning after officials were notified about an overdue aircraft, a public affairs officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force told The Canadian Press. Rescuers used the plane’s emergency transponder to locate the crash site southeast of Sioux Lookout, a remote area dotted with lakes and popular among tourists for fishing.

The plane was headed to Marathon, Ont., from Dryden.

Sioux Lookout, roughly midway between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, is known as the “Hub of the North” as it provides services to around 30 remote First Nations communities.

In 2018, Postmedia reported that Sandhu was arrested in India for allegedly producing drugs, just a few years after he claimed to be a changed man. Sandhu was convicted of assault and once charged with a 2014 murder, but the latter charges were stayed.

In 2015, Sandhu and two associates were named in a public safety warning by police in Abbotsford, BC


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