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Suspected Komagatu Maru memorial vandal faces charges, arrest warrant issued

Vancouver police identify 39-year-old man suspected in Aug. 2021 defacing incident
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The BC Prosecution Service has laid charges against the suspected vandal of Vancouver's Komagata Maru memorial.

After a four-month investigation, charges have been laid against the suspected vandal of Vancouver's Komagata Maru memorial in Coal Harbour.

The investigation was launched by the Vancouver Police Department on August 22, 2021, after images of white paint, handprints, and graffiti plastered on the memorial were posted to social media. The memorial includes the names of nearly 400 people who sailed to Vancouver from India aboard the Komagata Maru in 1914. They were all denied entry to Vancouver due to racist policies at the time. 

Despite not being initially reported to police, investigators were able to gather evidence from the scene, according to a recent VPD release.

“This crime reverberated throughout the community because of what this memorial reveals about our past and the steps we have taken to become a more inclusive community,” said Sergeant Steve Addison, VPD. “We promised to do everything in our power to solve this crime, and we’re pleased that evidence has led us to a criminal charge.”

On Monday, BC Prosecution Service approved one count of mischief against 39-year-old Yuniar Kurniawan. A B.C.-wide warrant has been issued for his arrest.