List of Top 5 Gangs in Vancouver
Vancouver gangs have been present in the city for many decades. Ranging from the motorcycle gangs such as Hell’s Angels, to Vietnamese groups prevalent in the 1990s and 2000s, to diverse street factions like United Nations and Brothers Keepers, and even extending to more complex criminal organizations like the Chinese Triads or Punjabi mafia.
These collectives often contribute to a majority of activities on Vancouver’s streets, which typically involve drug dealing and violent encounters. Their influence frequently reaches beyond Vancouver itself, impacting adjoining communities and regions. However, most of their operations are concentrated within Lower Mainland of Vancouver – British Columbia’s areas namely like North Surrey, Downtown Eastside, and several others.
Top 5 Vancouver Gangs
Vancouver Gangs: Hell’s Angels
The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has gained notoriety for its activity and strong presence in Canada, particularly in the city of Vancouver. Their activity ranges from drug trafficking and production to violent crimes. With over 30 chapters operating in Canada and over 1,200 members, the club has formed alliances with various criminal organizations and street gangs.
The Hells Angels first established their presence in Quebec in the 1970s and have since expanded nationwide, becoming the dominant club in Canada in 2000 after absorbing other biker clubs. Since their arrival into British Columbia during the 1980s, there are several major Hells Angels chapters, effectively controlling all outlaw motorcycle gang activity in the province, like Nanaimo, White Rock, and Vancouver.
The conflicts between various Vancouver gangs, such as the Independent Soldiers, United Nations, and Red Scorpions, have escalated into a full-fledged gang war. As tensions grew and the Hells Angels and Red Scorpions protecting their territory, has led to further conflicts with rival gangs. The rivals have left dozens murdered and even more wounded.
Overall, the Hells Angels’ presence and criminal activities have had a significant impact on the city of Vancouver’s underworld. Their involvement in drug trafficking, violent crimes, and their control over outlaw motorcycle gang activity have led them to be constantly in the spotlight of local law enforcement agencies and the news.
Vancouver Gangs: United Nations Gang
The United Nations gang, like many other gangs of the Lower Mainland, tends to consist of individuals who come from middle-class families of various ethnic backgrounds. This highlights the complexity of gang involvement and challenges commonly held stereotypes. However, despite their seemingly privileged backgrounds, the United Nations gang has been involved in various criminal activities that have had an impact on the city of Vancouver.
One area where the United Nations gang has had a significant presence is in the battle for control of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, particularly in drug-related activities. While the city of Vancouver is mainly one of the safest large cities of North America, the Downtown Eastside neighborhood has always been considered as the most notorious community of the city. The fight for control over drug markets not only leads to violence and criminal activities but also has severe consequences for the community and the individuals who reside there.
Vancouver Gangs: Red Scorpions
The Red Scorpion gang, which is an Asian gang of various ethnicities, has been a longstanding presence in the city of Vancouver. The Red Scorpions have a history of violence and drug trafficking, which has only grown over the years. They have managed to attract members from other gangs to join their ranks, solidifying their presence and influence in the criminal underworld.
Recent arrests on key members has somewhat dismantle operations and disrupted activities with targeting of assets that were seized during raids. A lawsuit against them alleges that the Red Scorpions were involved in drug trafficking, possession of controlled substances, and firearms offenses. With lengthy prison sentences, the Vancouver Police has achieved much with the led gang investigation known as Project Territory.
Vancouver Gangs: Triads
Chinese Triads are among Canada’s top organized crime organizations. One of the most prominent crimes committed by these Triads is drug trafficking. Chinese criminal syndicates based in Guangdong province smuggle narcotics, including dangerous drugs like fentanyl, into Vancouver. These profits are then laundered through the city’s casinos and real estate market, with the funds being sent back to China to continue the trade.
This illegal activity, known as the “Vancouver Model,” has become a significant concern for law enforcement agencies and government officials. The Triads have infiltrated Canada’s economy to such an extent that it has caught the attention of the intelligence community. The flow of drugs and money is facilitated by underground banking networks and financial facilitators, including lawyers, bankers, and casino operators.
Triads originated as part of a movement to overthrow the ruling Qing Dynasty and were involved in revolutionary and underground activities. Triad groups originated from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, while criminal organizations operating in mainland China are referred to as “mainland Chinese criminal groups” or “black societies.” Over time, Triads have expanded their operations internationally and have outposts in various countries with significant Chinese populations.
Vancouver Gangs: Brothers Keepers
The Brothers Keepers, who are mostly South Asian descent, is a criminal gang that originated in British Columbia, primarily in the Greater Vancouver area. The gang is known to have a presence in various communities in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, including Vancouver.
The Brothers Keepers gang has been involved in various criminal activities, including drug trafficking, violence, and organized crime. They have been a significant player in the ongoing gang conflicts in the region, particularly with rival gangs such as the United Nations (UN) Gang and the Red Scorpions.
The gang’s activities have resulted in violence and criminal incidents in the Greater Vancouver area, contributing to concerns about public safety and gang-related crime in the region.
Vancouver Gangs: Independent Soldiers
The Independent Soldiers were originally established in the 1990s by a collective of Indo-Canadians hailing from South Vancouver and nearby municipalities in British Colomiba. From their days of minor crimes, Independent Soldiers eventually stepped up and advance their ranks in the Vancouver underworld working with major players of the streets of British Colombia, like the Punjabi Mafia.
Since there are not any dangerous neighborhoods and ghettos of Vancouver, many come from middle-class families and were enticed by the fast life of the street gangs.