Photos of alleged accomplices in Rabih Alkhalil’s escape were archival footage, RCMP say


Coquitlam RCMP are still actively searching for Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil, who escaped from the North Fraser Pre-trial Center on Thursday – but the photos they shared of his alleged accomplices were archival footage, they said.

“The suspects who helped Alkhalil escape are believed to look a lot like the photos they left behind, but those images are not the ones,” Const. Deanna Law with the Coquitlam RCMP in a statement Saturday afternoon.

CBC contacted the Coquitlam RCMP on Saturday morning after receiving a tip that the photos appeared to be stock footage.

Police later released a statement confirming that the images are original and “do not depict the suspects themselves”.

RCMP have released images showing two men believed to have helped Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil escape from the North Fraser Pre-Trial Center on July 21, 2022. They now say the two photos look like the suspects, but are actually archival footage. (Coquitlam RCMP)

The footage was released on Friday as police said they had tentatively identified the two alleged accomplices and asked the public for help in locating Alkhalil.

The 35-year-old, who faces murder charges for gang-related killings in British Columbia in 2012, escaped from the correctional center about a half-hour drive east of Vancouver , Thursday evening.

The two unknown suspects in the escape are both described as bald white men who appear to be in their thirties. One has a narrow face, arched eyebrows, and a slightly hooked nose, while the second has an oval face, light eyebrows, and close-set eyes.

“As with many complex investigations, information is changing rapidly as we move forward,” Law said in the statement.

“Time is of the essence in this case and it is important to keep the public as informed as possible, even though the facts may change over time.”

A screenshot of a reverse image search on tineye.com found three websites where one of these photos shared by the RCMP showed up, including a site offering passport photos.  In the screenshot we see that 55.4 billion images were searched and two of the results are shown: one says "service/passport-photos" and the other "imagebam.com."
A screenshot of a reverse image search on tineye.com found three websites where one of the photos shared by the RCMP showed up, including a site offering passport photos. (tineye.com)

On Saturday, police confirmed they located the white Econoline van in which Alkhalil left with the two men. The van is under forensic examination, they said.

CBC has contacted the RCMP about the use of the stock footage.