80 gangs active in Toronto

American organized crime groups included traditional groups such as La Cosa Nostra & the Italian Mafia to modern groups such as Black Mafia Family. Discuss the most organized criminal groups in the United States including gangs in Canada.
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This section discusses organized crime groups in the US and Canadian street gangs.
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Christina Marie
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80 gangs active in Toronto

Unread post by Christina Marie » August 20th, 2006, 3:20 pm

80 gangs active in Toronto: police

City is a centre of vehicle theft, experts warn

Aug. 18, 2006. 11:04 AM

There are some 300 often-violent street gangs in Canada – with an estimated 11,000 members – and many of the most dangerous members live in the Greater Toronto Area, organized crime experts say.

“There are approximately 80 street gangs currently active in Toronto with an additional 95 identified in the following regions of Ontario: York (Vaughan, Markham and Richmond), Peel, Waterloo/Kitchener, Thunder Bay, Niagara Falls and Ottawa,” states the annual report of the Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada, an information gathering organization run by Canadian police investigators.

“Street gangs use a wide variety of weapons across the country including swords, knives, machetes, hammers, screwdrivers and firearms,” the report states. “Illicit firearms used by street gangs are typically acquired through residential or commercial thefts, or are smuggled into the country from the United States. In some instances, street gangs are directly involved in acquiring these illicit firearms, though more often the firearms are acquired indirectly through an illicit firearms trafficker.”

The report also calls Toronto and Montreal Canada’s hotspots for vehicle theft, noting that some 170,000 vehicles are stolen each year in Canada.

“A significant number of un-recovered vehicles (especially newer luxury models) are typically smuggled by criminal groups to foreign markets concealed in containers and moved through the marine ports of Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax,” the report states.

Street gang violence often stifles the justice system, intimidating law enforcement officials and witnesses alike, the report states.

“Murder, shootings, assaults, property damage and threats against law enforcement, corrections staff, justice personnel and crime witnesses continue to be reported across Canada,” the report states. “The threat of retaliation by the street gang, directed either at the individual involved or that person’s family, has at times impeded the justice system, resulting in withdrawn charges or reduced sentences. Witness intimidation remains a significant law enforcement concern as public fear of street gang retaliation has made some communities fearful of co-operating with police.

Street gangs have been in Canada for more than a century, but they have grown rapidly in numbers and strength since the 1980s. They’re getting more violent as they encroach on each other’s territory, and innocent members of the public are sometimes victimized by drive-by shootings, street gang cross-fire and mistaken identities, the report states.

“In Toronto, street gangs may have distinct territories in low-income housing areas that are subject to regular incidences of violence, often firearm-related,” the investigators conclude. “The street gang presence within these communities can create an intimidating atmosphere and an often dangerous environment for its residents. Street gangs in the city often reflect the predominant ethnicity of its claimed territory.

“Gun violence is prevalent among street gangs in the Greater Toronto Area with continued reporting of drive-by shootings, attempted murders and murders involving firearms.”

The report notes that some Canadian street gangs identify themselves as Crips or Bloods, but says they’re independent from the U.S.-based Bloods or Crips.

“The structure of street gangs tends to be either family/friendship-based or hierarchical in nature,” the report states. “Some hierarchies have multiple cells that facilitate the street-level distribution of illicit commodities, particularly drugs and weapons. Ethnically homogenous gangs tend to operate within a fixed area and are generally found in lower income urban areas. This type of street gang is prevalent in the Prairies, Toronto and Montreal.”

“Street gangs are most prominently involved in illicit drug distribution and the sex trade,” the organized crime experts conclude. “Their sex trade involvement nationwide includes street-level prostitution, escort agencies and exotic dancing establishments. Some gangs recruit women, including minors, into the sex trade and transport them to various locations across Canada – sometimes through intimidation and threats of violence. Street gangs are also active in robberies, home invasions and to a lesser extent, fraud, and the counterfeiting of currency and merchandise.”

While the report targets street gangs as an increasingly dangerous and strong presence in Canada’s underworld, it adds that more established and sophisticated groups like the traditional Mafia and outlaw biker gangs haven’t gone away.

“There are varying levels of criminal capabilities amongst organized crime groups across Canada,” the report states. “At present, those with higher levels of criminal capabilities are largely represented by a number of Asian criminal groups in the B.C. Lower Mainland and southern Ontario, some Italian crime groups in Ontario and Quebec, certain Hells Angels chapters in B.C., Ontario and Quebec, and several independent groups across the country.

“This relatively small number of criminal groups is distinguished by their large-scale, sophisticated operations involving the importation, manufacture or distribution of a wide variety of contraband, as well as through financial crimes such as fraud and money laundering,” the report continues. “However, these kinds of criminal groups have demonstrated an ability to shield themselves from disruption by law enforcement and rival criminal groups.”

Street gangs are found everywhere in Canada except the Yukon and Nunavut, and members of Alberta-based street gangs are involved in the street-level trafficking of various drugs in the Yellowknife area of the Northwest Territories, the report states.

Street gangs generally rely on violence, not sophistication, the report continues.

Most street gangs get their illegal drugs from other organized crime groups, like outlaw motorcycle gangs, Italian or Asian criminal groups, the report states, adding that “street gangs in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces tend to use specific locations that are informally designated by the gangs as trafficking zones.”

“Most profits from street gang criminality are directed towards maintaining a particular lifestyle,” the report states. “A limited number of gangs are involved in money laundering and, to a lesser degree, purchasing legitimate businesses with the proceeds of crime. The majority of these businesses – such as restaurants and clothing stores – are used to advance criminal enterprises or promote gang-related interests.”

These street gangs are active behind bars as well as on the streets, according to the report.

“Some incarcerated gang members are involved in gang recruitment and criminal activities inside federal and provincial correctional institutions, as well as occasionally influencing gang activities outside institutions,” the experts state. “Gang members and associates continue to network within the correctional system, transferring information about criminal activities as well as promoting gang interests. In some cases, gang members mature criminally while in prison, demonstrating a greater awareness of law enforcement tactics upon release.”

The report also notes that Canada remains a haven of sorts for the laundering of organized crime money.

“According to the International Monetary Fund, an estimated $22 to $55 billion is laundered annually in Canada,” the report states. “Criminal groups will continue to exploit domestic financial institutions for money laundering purposes. Some organized crime groups launder their own proceeds while others contract out this service, particularly when the amount exceeds the group’s capacity to launder or the method of laundering requires specialized skills. Criminal groups typically seek to insulate themselves from the laundering process through the use of third parties, financial professionals and other financial intermediaries, such as online payment systems, currency exchanges and shell companies.”

The report also notes a rise in mortgage fraud, a deliberate use of misstatements to fund or secure loans. It states that some crime groups use mortgage frauds to support other organized crime activities, like marihuana grow operations.

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Conten ... ews/Canada

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Re: 80 gangs active in Toronto

Unread post by POBoyKarrSt » March 9th, 2017, 11:52 pm

The street gang presence within these communities can create an intimidating atmosphere and an often dangerous environment for its residents. Street gangs in the city often reflect the predominant ethnicity of its claimed territory.
More so for outsiders and new comers than the actual residents themselves. Only way you would be scared of your own community is if you're a lame or a rat. Toronto gangs been multicultural from time.

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