NRI Ranjit Cheema faces extradition to the USA-
attemp to smuggle heroin worth $4 million
- Involved in smuggling narcotics
into the USA.
- Involved nearly 100 gang-related
killings of NRI youths in the Vancouver area
Vancouver, January 19, 2008
On Thursday, NRI drug cartel kingpin Ranjit Singh Cheema faces extradition
to California, USA on drug charges. He was well known gangster and
involved in about 100 gang-related killings of NRI youths in the
Vancouver area during the past 10 years. Supt. John Robin said Cheema
has been well-known to police for years.
In February 1998, Cheema was first charged in attempt to smuggle
heroin worth $4 million and 4,000 kg of hashish from a former Pakistani
general and members of a Columbian cartel.
Cheema had argued that a Pakistani named Mohammed Yusuf Khan was
acting illegally as an agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
when he met with Cheema in Vancouver in April 1997 to discuss their
plan to import more than 200 kilograms of heroin into North America.
Ranjit Cheema surrendered himself to the
authorities and is likely to be handed over to the American Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) very soon. He was out on a bail
of $4 million since November and staying at his parents' Vancouver
home with his wife and young daughter.
In June, 2007, Vancouver Sun reported: Khan "was the central
character in this drama," the appeal court said as it laid
out details of the alleged plot that reads like a movie script.
Khan told police he was working with a retired Pakistani military
man named Major Mohamed Shafiq who had spoken to him about transporting
heroin to Vancouver for Cheema.
For months, there were clandestine meetings in Pakistan, Montreal,
Vancouver, Los Angeles and Singapore -- some of them monitored by
police -- that were all allegedly part of the plot.
During the April 1997 Vancouver meeting, "Cheema told Khan
that he had contacts in the Colombian drug trafficking organization
operating out of the L.A. area."
Khan told police that he explained to Cheema the heroin would have
to arrive in L.A. and not B.C., for logistical reasons.
Throughout late December 1997 and January 1998, Khan talked to
Cheema by phone and met with several of Cheema's associates who
remained in the L.A. area to finalize the deal.
On Jan. 21, 1998, two of Cheema's alleged associates arrived at
Khan's hotel near L.A. and gave him a duffel bag containing almost
The group of men went to the hotel parking lot, where DEA agents
had placed five boxes containing 104 kilograms of fake heroin and
two of the real stuff. The three B.C. men then drove off and were
arrested shortly afterward.
They were convicted and sentenced to nine years. Cheema was arrested
by the RCMP in B.C. and began his 10-year battle to avoid a U.S.
In the 1995 trial of six men accused of the gangland slayings of
brothers Jim and Ron Dosanjh , Cheema was identified as an alleged
cocaine trafficker. He was wounded by a gunshot at a Richmond nightclub.
He was with his associate at the time, Robbie Kandola, who was gunned
down in June 2002 after a falling-out with Cheema.
In 2000, Mike Brar, Cheema's bodyguard was fatally shot outside
a Vancouver wedding reception but Cheema was not hurted