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Friday, 9 September 2011

Missing West Vancouver man has ties to United Nations gang


West Vancouver man linked to the United Nations gang disappeared earlier this week - two days before he was to be sentenced in a drug trafficking case in Ontario. Omid Bayani, 36, was last seen Monday afternoon en route to the gym, West Vancouver police Det. Tom Wolff von Gudenberg said Thursday. His worried family reported him missing a day later, saying it was out of character for Bayani not to return home or call anyone. Police are investigating whether Bayani's gangland history has somehow caught up with him, or whether he took off to avoid his sentencing. The Crown was seeking a jail term of between eight and nine years. Bayani was arrested in 2007 along with Hells Angels in B.C. and Ontario after a massive Ontario Provincial Police undercover operation targeting the biker gang. Despite being a ranking UN gang member at the time, Bayani had worked with the rival Angels in a conspiracy to traffic 600 litres of GHB - the date rape drug. This past July, prosecutors stayed a charge of belonging to a criminal organization against Bayani and his co-accused. But Bayani was convicted on the drug charges. Wolff von Gudenberg said Bayani, who is six feet tall and weighs 240 pounds, was last seen wearing a white or grey Under Armour shirt, blue Under Armour shorts, running shoes and ankle socks. Bayani worked out at two different North Shore community centres, he said. "We don't have any confirmation that he got to the gym," Wolff von Gudenberg said. Despite his criminal history, Bayani had not been on the radar of West Vancouver Police in recent months. "It is impossible to speculate because we don't know anything about his real connections locally," Wolff von Gudenberg said. "He has been totally off our radar." He said other Lower Mainland law enforcement agencies, including the Gang Task Force, have been contacted. "Everybody's been notified just because of that history. Who knows if somebody has a source out there who knows something? He could be missing. He could have taken off," Wolff von Gudenberg said. Port Moody police Insp. Andy Richards led the B.C. component of the Ontario investigation when he was with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. Richards said Thursday that he hasn't heard anything about Bayani since the 2007 arrest. "He was a player. He was a big player at one time," Richards said. And he said Bayani had gang connections far beyond the UN, as indicated by his involvement with the Hells Angels. News of Bayani's disappearance comes just a day after the head of the Gang Task Force, Supt. Tom McCluskie, said the police fear retaliation for the Aug. 14 murder of Red Scorpion Jonathan Bacon and wounding of Hells Angel Larry Amero and Independent Soldier James Riach. Another West Vancouver man with gang links, Vahid Mahanian, vanished under similar circumstances June 27 and was found dead on Cypress Mountain two weeks later. Bayani came to Canada as a refugee, but was ordered deported in 1999 after a series of armed robberies in Calgary. He filed a series of unsuccessful challenges against the deportation, but was never removed from Canada.

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