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Suspects in separate murder, attempted murder cases died in same plane crash

Questions asked about why Duncan Bailey and Gene Lahrkamp were on the same flight
Gene Karl Lahrkamp is seen in an undated handout photo. He was one of two men wanted in Thailand for the murder of a man with links to British Columbia gangs. Lahrkamp was killed along with three other men in a plane crash in northwestern Ontario last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-BOLO Program, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

A plane crash in Ontario that killed an alleged hit man also claimed the life of a man believed to be linked to a separate murder plot.

A warrant for the arrest of Duncan Howard Bailey was issued by B.C. authorities on April 26, days before a man with an identical name died when the small aircraft went down in a remote area in northwestern Ontario.

Authorities have said Gene Lahrkamp, who was wanted in Thailand for the murder of a man with gang links in B.C., was also among the four men killed in the crash.

The information raises questions about why Bailey and Lahrkamp were on the same flight and what their connection might be — details that British Columbia’s anti-gang unit have said they are investigating.

“We would be looking into why and what kind of connections if any (Lahrkamp) had with those other people,” Sgt. Brenda Winpenny of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit said Wednesday.

Police have identified the other two victims on the plane as pilot Abhinav Handa and Hankun Kong, both of Richmond, B.C.

The wreckage was found Saturday after the flight was reported overdue. It left Dryden, Ont., Friday evening but never made it to its destination in Marthon, Ont., the Transportation Safety Board has said.

Bailey’s indictment shows he was charged alongside two other men for attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in an attack on Mir Aali Hussain on Oct. 6, 2020. Hussain was killed in a separate shooting nearly a year later, the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team has said.

The other two men pleaded guilty to attempted murder in March and their sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 12, the BC Prosecution Service said.

Bailey’s last court appearance in Vancouver was April 4 and the arrest warrant was issued on April 26 for breaching his bail conditions.

In a separate filing in B.C. Supreme Court, a Duncan Bailey is named as a defendant in an ongoing civil forfeiture case. The court documents say Vancouver police seized nearly $400,000 from a property in Alberta and alleges the money was payment for a murder plot linked to a shooting on Oct. 6, 2020.

Bailey is identified as “an associate of the gang Independent Soldiers,” in the court claim.

He denies all of the allegations in a response filed in February and says the money was obtained lawfully.

In a third 2012 case, B.C. Supreme Court records show a Duncan Howard Bailey was a federal inmate who successfully challenged his involuntary transfer to a maximum-security prison after he was accused of standing watch while another inmate was stabbed.

The warden of the maximum-security Kent Institution admitted in court documents the transfer happened without procedural fairness. Bailey wasn’t shown video footage of the alleged assault when he disputed the allegations and asked to see it, the documents say.

Handa and Hong do not appear in B.C. criminal court records.

Federal authorities meanwhile shed further light on Lahrkamp and his alleged associate in the Thailand murder Thursday.

Lahrkamp and Matthew Dupre are accused in the Feb. 4 death of Jimi Sandhu in Phuket and police have said they fled to Canada following the incident.

The Department of National Defence confirmed Thursday that Lahrkamp and Dupre both served as infantrymen in the army and left the military as corporals. It could not confirm if the men ever served together.

Lahrkamp served from February 2012 to February 2018 but never deployed.

Dupre served from October 2005 to August 2013 and deployed to Afghanistan for five months in 2010.

A LinkedIn profile for a Matthew Dupre that says he served from 2005 to 2013 also says he worked as a private military contractor in Iraq and Syria for five months in 2015. The profile describes some of his responsibilities as mentoring members of the Peshmerga and YPG armies, and providing personal security detail for a general of the Kurdish army.

Dupre was arrested in Alberta on Feb. 20 and police say he remains in custody.

After the anti-gang unit was unable to find Lahrkamp in Canada, it partnered with the BOLO program, which partners with police and Crimestoppers to amplify messages.

On April 26, the same day that Bailey’s arrest warrant was issued, BOLO identified Lahrkamp as No. 2 on their “Top 25” list of most wanted individuals in Canada and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

The program identifies Sandhu, the murder victim, as an Indian citizen and former Canadian resident who was known for his involvement in the United Nations gang, one of the groups involved in the ongoing conflict in British Columbia.

He was deported to India in 2016 for “serious criminality,” the program says.

—Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

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