Canadian Ex-Soldier Guilty of Gangster’s Murder in Thailand

A Canadian former soldier has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the murder of Canadian gangster Jimi Sandhu in Phuket in February 2022.

Matthew Dupre entered his guilty plea on the first day of his trial at the Criminal Court in Bangkok on June 27, as reported by the Vancouver Sun.

According to Sgt Brenda Winpenny of the anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit in British Columbia, Dupre acknowledged his participation in the well-planned murder at a beachfront resort on the popular southern island.

The assassination of Jimi “Slice” Sandhu by two foreigners was captured by security cameras outside the Beachfront Hotel at Rawai Beach in Phuket on the night of February 4, 2022.

Sandhu had been residing in a private waterfront villa adjacent to the hotel. Authorities discovered fake Canadian IDs and cash in the villa.

At 32 years old, Sandhu was a member of the United Nations gang in Vancouver. He had grown up in nearby Abbotsford but was deported to India in 2016 due to serious criminal offenses.

Since 2016, he had been frequently traveling to and from Phuket. At the time of his death, he was a wanted individual in India on charges of drug trafficking, had recently been prohibited from entering Malaysia, and had spent time in Vietnam.

Thai police suspected his involvement in drug trafficking activities across Southeast Asia.

He had been renting the villa since November 2021, left Phuket around Christmas 2021, and was seen at an upscale New Year’s Eve party at the Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok before leaving Thailand.

He returned on January 27, eight days before his assassination, on a private jet from Malaysia.

According to the Thai police investigation, Dupre and co-accused Gene Lahrkamp arrived at Phuket International Airport together on December 18, 2021. Both returned to Canada on February 8, 2022, and were soon identified as suspects in the murder.

Acting on a request from Thai authorities, Canadian police suspected the murder was connected to a gang feud in British Columbia.

They conducted searches at Dupre’s home in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, at Lahrkamp’s home, and at the residence of a third suspect in Ontario, who was never charged.

Dupre was arrested on February 20, 2022, by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at his home in Sylvan Lake.

Lahrkamp remained a fugitive but perished in a small plane crash near Sioux Lookout in northern Ontario on April 30, 2022.

Dupre consented to extradition in May 2023 and has been detained in Bangkok since. Thai officials consented to waive the death penalty in the case to meet Canadian extradition requirements.

Both Dupre and Lahrkamp were former members of the Canadian Armed Forces, having served as corporals—Dupre from 2005 to 2013 and Lahrkamp from 2012 to 2018, as noted by the Sun.

According to Dupre’s LinkedIn profile, he later served as a private military contractor in Syria and Iraq, where he claimed to have been involved in combat against ISIS. His profile lists skills such as hand-to-hand combat, unconventional warfare, and sharpshooting.