Crash of Small Plane Kills 2 Wanted Gang Members

Including the No. 2 on Canada's most-wanted list
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2022 8:30 AM CDT
Canada's No. 2 Most Wanted Man Dies in Plane Crash
A handout from Canada's Be on the Lookout program shows Gene Karl Lahrkamp.   (BOLO)

(Newser) – Two men with ties to organized crime—one an alleged international hit man and the other accused in a murder plot, both with outstanding warrants for their arrests—have died in a small plane crash in Canada. Authorities are investigating what brought down the plane over a stretch of forest in northwestern Ontario last week "during seemingly calm weather," the Guardian reports. There was light rain amid overcast skies as the four-seater Piper PA-28 Cherokee departed Dryden, Ontario, on the evening of April 29, per the CBC. It had flown east from British Columbia on April 23 and was due to continue east to Marathon, Ont. But the wreckage of the plane was found Saturday roughly 60 miles east of Dryden.

The four BC men on board died, including 26-year-old pilot Abhinav Handa and 27-year-old Hankun Hong. Hong flew planes, though it's unclear if he was serving as co-pilot. What is known is that passenger Gene Karl Lahrkamp, 36, was named No. 2 on the list of the 25 most-wanted people in Canada as the chief suspect in a murder in Thailand just four days before the crash, per the Toronto Star and Global News. The former Canadian soldier and a co-conspirator allegedly traveled to Phuket in February to kill Jimi Sandhu, a member of a gang called the United Nations who'd been deported from Canada in 2016 for "serious criminality." A notice from Interpol warned Lahrkamp could be armed, dangerous, and potentially suicidal as he would've faced the death penalty in Thailand, per the Star.

Also on board was 37-year-old Duncan Bailey, an alleged member of the Independent Soldiers gang charged with conspiracy to commit murder tied to the October 2020 shooting of a man carrying a baby in a car seat in Vancouver. Prosecutors say he failed to comply with bail conditions before a warrant for his arrest was issued on April 26. A former United Nations gang member tells the Star that he's surprised Bailey was traveling with Lahrkamp as the two men were on opposing sides in a gang war. But "the dynamics change really quick," he says. Ontario police say a criminal investigation will look at links between the passengers. They have yet to say what final destination the men were trying to reach. (Read more plane crash stories.)

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