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Feds in Los Angeles arrest truck driver in 1999 Canada slaying

August 23, 2011 |  3:33 pm

Ninderjit Singh Federal agents announced the capture Tuesday of a long-haul trucker who had been wanted in Canada in connection with the decade-old slaying of his teenage ex-girlfriend.

Ninderjit Singh, 33, an Indian national and Canada resident, was detained Friday following a traffic stop near his home in San Jacinto residence and is being held on a provisional arrest warrant, said officials with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

The arrest culminates an investigation that began in 1999 with the shooting death of Poonam Randhawa in Vancouver, Canada. Canadian authorities said the victim was found on a street near her school, where she had been last seen in a vehicle with Singh.

The case was profiled on “America’s Most Wanted” in July 2000. The program generated some leads but Singh, who authorities say dramatically changed his appearance from trim and clean-cut to disheveled and portly, continued to elude authorities.

Then two weeks ago, Vancouver police contacted Homeland Security agents with information that Singh might be in the Los Angeles area. Federal agents tracked him to Washington state.

During the return trip Friday morning, the California Highway Patrol pulled Singh’s big-rig over in Irvine after he had made a delivery at a local grocery store and issued him a ticket. Authorities took thumb prints of Singh during the traffic stop.

Singh was allowed to leave and he returned to his San Jacinto residence but was under surveillance as authorities sought confirmation that he was the murder suspect. After confirming his identity with the Vancouver Police Department, federal agents and local police officers arrested him outside a restaurant.

Singh, who is in custody in L.A. County Jail, awaits an extradition to Canada.

“After more than a decade, this fugitive likely believed he was in the clear, but he underestimated the determination of Canadian and U.S. law enforcement,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles. “As this case shows, our borders will never be a barrier to bringing international fugitives to justice.”


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-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter.com/anblanx)

Photo: Ninderjit Singh. Credit: Immigration and Customs Enforcement