A civil forfeiture claim has been filed to seize two vehicles that are alleged to have ties to the shooting death of Harwin Baringh of Abbotsford in October.
The notice of civil claim was filed in December in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver by the province’s director of civil forfeiture, saying that a white 2009 Nissan Altima and a blue 2007 Nissan Altima have been used in an “ongoing gang conflict.”
The documents allege that the principal operator of the 2009 vehicle is associated with the “Dhaliwal crime group.”
The documents claim the owner of the 2007 Altima is associated with the rival “Chahil crime group,” to which Baringh (in photo) was also connected.
The documents state that Baringh and a passenger were travelling in a Jeep Grand Cherokee on Oct. 2 on Sparrow Drive when they stopped at the side of the road.
The blue Altima, occupied by its owner and a passenger, pulled up beside them and the two groups had a conversation before pulling away.
According to the notice of civil claim, surveillance cameras about an hour later captured both the Jeep and the blue Altima following the white Altima and a white Acura TL along Sparrow Drive.
The two cars in front then parked and blocked the road, and an occupant of the white Acura stepped out of the vehicle and fired several gunshots at Baringh’s Jeep, the documents allege.
They claim that shots were then exchanged among the occupants of the four vehicles. Three of the cars drove away, but Baringh’s Jeep remained.
Police arrived on the scene to find that the 18-year-old was dead in his vehicle, slumped over in the driver’s seat.
Several bullet casings were found close to the Jeep, and several nearby houses had bullet holes, according to the documents.
The civil claim states that police later obtained search warrants for both Altimas and observed that the blue vehicle appeared to have recently received body work and a paint job.
Bullet holes in the passenger quarter panel and windshield had been repaired with bondo putty, according to the court documents.
Both vehicles had been used to “engage in a violent ongoing gang conflict” between the Chahil and Dhaliwal crime groups and are likely to continue to be used for such a purpose, the notice of civil claim alleges.
The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has previously reported there has been an ongoing dispute, which they have called the “Townline Hill Conflict,” between two groups of young Indo-Canadian men on the west side of the city.
Police have said the dispute is not related to gangs or drugs and have not confirmed whether Baringh’s death is connected to this conflict.
The murder occurred not far from other incidents – including vandalism, physical and verbal altercations, and the arsons of two vehicles – related to the dispute.
B.C.’s civil forfeiture office can initiate civil court proceedings to take away property such as vehicles, cash and homes that are believed to have been used in unlawful activity or purchased from the proceeds of such activity.
None of the allegations in the civil claim has been proved in court, and charges have not been laid. The News has chosen not to publish the names of those listed in the document at this time.