By Alex P. Vidal
NEW WESTMINSTER, British Columbia — A week after Vancouver City Mayor Gregor Robertson issued a statement that he was “urging” his 21-year-old foster son to surrender after a warrant had been issued for his arrest third week of December 2011, suspect Jinagh Farrouch Navas-Rivas, remained at large.
This prompted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to announce they would “interview” the mayor “as part of probe into his foster son’s drugs, weapon charges.”
Meanwhile, Christian Beutel (not his real name) confirmed in an exclusive interview last January 2 here Navas-Rivas’ gun charges stemmed from an incident Beutel allegedly witnessed on November 18 in this city, a day before the suspect joined the newly reelected Vancouver mayor on stage to celebrate his victory for a second term.
“Is Gregor Robertson coddling Navas-Rivas? That I cannot tell; it’s the job of the RCMP to investigate further. The question should be, why does the mayor find it hard to communicate with his own foster son? Does he really make some moves to locate Navas-Rivas? Or is there something that the mayor know that the RCMP need to know?” Beutel told this writer in a downtown coffee house here.
Navas-Rivas lived with the Robertson household for two years until June 2009, it was learned. Police have issued a warrant for his arrest for alleged crimes related to a six-month investigation into a “dial-a-dope” cocaine operation based in Richmond, said RCMP spokesman Sgt. Peter Thiessen.
The mayor’s foster son is facing one count of transferring a .22-caliber Ruger pistol and ammunition and two counts of trafficking cocaine.
The mayor admitted he only found out about the charges against Navas-Rivas last December 29. Navas-Rivas is listed as one of the mayor’s four children on the City of Vancouver’s website.
“I am disappointed to hear that Jinagh is wanted by the Richmond RCMP and I urge him to turn himself into the police immediately,” Robertson said in a written statement published in several newspapers in British Columbia last December 30.
“Out of respect for the ongoing investigation, I will refrain from commenting further at this time.”
Four more alleged accomplices of Navas-Rivas have also been charged in connection with the Metro Vancouver drug ring, it was reported.
According to a report filed by The Province, police seized three handguns, 500 grams of cocaine, 30 g of pot, vials of steroids and an unspecified amount of ecstacy in a raid of a Vancouver property on December 22 in relation to the “dial-a-dope” ring they started probing in June.
Thiessen reportedly said “the successful removal of the guns off the street by Richmond officers takes them out of the hands of criminals like those who shot four people over the Christmas weekend.”
Reports added that Willie Sing Cheung Truong, 23, of Vancouver has turned himself in to police and appeared in Richmond court last December 30 on drug charges and was released on “strict conditions” and set to return to court on Jsanuary 5.
Police have also issued warrants for Vinh Hoang David Le, 25, and Raymund Kwok Pui Ma, 47, both of Vancouver, for drug cases.