Friday, September 22, 2017

RCMP launch 20 investigations involving Chinese vendors smuggling fentanyl to Canada

RCMP launch 20 investigations involving Chinese vendors smuggling fentanyl to Canada

An OPP officer displays bags containing fentanyl as Ontario Provincial Police host a news conference in Vaughan, Ont., on February 23, 2017. The RCMP has launched at least 20 investigations involving dozens of vendors shipping fentanyl from China as Canada grapples with a record number of illicit opioid deaths, the force's director of serious organized crime says.
An OPP officer displays bags containing fentanyl as Ontario Provincial Police host a news conference in Vaughan, Ont., on February 23, 2017. The RCMP has launched at least 20 investigations involving dozens of vendors shipping fentanyl from China as Canada grapples with a record number of illicit opioid deaths, the force's director of serious organized crime says.
RCMP have launched at least 20 investigations involving 70 vendors shipping fentanyl directly from China to Canada.
Mounties are working with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to seize packages of the deadly opioid, make arrests and lay charges.
The Mounties and CBSA, along with Canada Post, have worked together to identify the best way to flag parcels arriving from China at three international mail-sorting centres — Montreal, Mississauga, Ont., and Vancouver, which gets most of the mail going to destinations across the country.
The CBSA says 156 fentanyl seizures have been made across the country between June 2016 and Sept. 6 of this year, 83 of them in the Pacific region.
“While most fentanyl seizures are made at the Vancouver International Mail Centre in the Pacific region, it is important to note that fentanyl has been seized at Pacific region’s air cargo operations and in other modes and regions,” the CBSA said in an email. coverage of the fentanyl crisis

Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer said Monday that fentanyl is “a huge concern and we’re working closely with all our partners to combat it.”
“This is a national issue, and quite frankly, an international issue. We’re seeing it come through the airport. Vancouver has become a bit of a hub. Traditionally, we are a big heroin city so we do have a lot of heroin users in this city.
“Vancouver started out as the epicentre. Now we’re seeing it creeping out across the country, it’s heading east. Interestingly, in the United States, the experience is a bit different where it started on the east coast and it’s heading west.”
Officers have met with Chinese officials twice so far about the issue.
Pressure on China over fentanyl shipments, mostly from Canada and the United States, mounted to a point that in March, it banned the manufacture and sale of four variations of the synthetic drug.
“In order for them to keep their status with different organizations … they need to show the world that they are actually doing the best they can to tackle organized crime and illegal narcotics trafficking,” Sgt. Yves Goupil, RCMP’s director of serious organized crime, said.
As of the end of July, 876 people in B.C. have died of drug overdoses this year, 81 per cent of those deaths involved fentanyl.

China: Source of Opioid Crisis

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 China: Source of Opioid Production
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Opioid boom in China as patients lose addiction fears Painkiller.Synthetic opioids have become the star performers in China’s pharmaceutical market. The market for painkillers in China grew 20 per cent last year to reach Rmb3.6bn ($530m), according to the China Pharmaceutical Industry Association, more than twice the rate of the overall drug market, which is the world’s second largest.  Lung cancer is China’s most common disease, due to high rates of smoking and air pollution. “The development of treatment for late-stage cancer is the cause,” said Fan Bifa, director of China’s national centre for pain treatment. “The pain of advanced stage cancer patients is intense . . . generally we will use opioids in accordance with guidelines.” Increased spending on dental surgery and a growth in surgical operations had also driven demand, e added.  China has traumatic historical memories of opioid abuse after Britain forced it to accept imports of opium from British India in the 19th century, leading to widespread addiction that was mostly eradicated brutally, by the Communist party after it seized power in 1949. A continued stigma about opioids created a reluctance to use them among doctors and patients alike because of associations with addiction. But China’s government has driven a change in attitudes with a “good pain management” programme launched in 2011, which trains hospital staff to recognise different levels of pain and “provide effective relief through timely dispensation of medication”.  Zhao Bing, a China healthcare specialist in UBS securities, said: “In recent years pain treatment has been getting more and more clinical attention. Hospitals across the country have established outpatient pain management clinics.” Rather than arriving on the ships of foreign merchants, now most of the opioids consumed in China are locally produced. With a nearly 40 per cent market share last year, the Yangtze River Pharmaceutical Group’s dezocine was the bestselling painkiller in China, according to CNPIC data. The drug is mostly used after surgery. By contrast, the most popular foreign brand is Bard Pharma’s Oxycodone, with a 6.5 per cent market share. Companies see high growth potential as Chinese painkiller sales are small compared with an overall pharmaceutical market worth nearly $117bn last year, according to QuintilesIMS, the health research company. The Chinese market is just one-twentieth the size of the US’s, where a slow-burning epidemic of opioid use has seen prescription rates more than double since the early 1990s, while tens of thousands have died of overdoses. The third most popular painkiller in China last year was Sufentanil, which has also seen growing rates of addiction in the US. As the US government tries to tackle the epidemic by discouraging physicians from prescribing painkillers for chronic pain, companies are seeking growth in emerging markets such as China. Mundipharma, which produces OxyContin — a drug that has intensified the addiction crisis in the US — has launched a large-scale campaign in China involving cartoon videos aimed at both doctors and patients. So far staff from more than 6,000 hospitals across China viewed online lectures hosted by Mundipharma’s platform to promote pain treatment some 64,000 times, according to the company’s website. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Money Laundering, Criminal Cash in OZ Real Estate

A Plague Exits in Australia...Chinese Criminal Cash Buying Up Real Estate

Criminal Money Entering Canada,The Money Then Laundered in Real Estate

Call it what it is...Money Laundering From China. This BC Premier knows but wont say who it is. She wasn't voted back.

Anti-gang cops arrest nine following year-long probe into illegal gambling

Anti-gang cops arrest nine following year-long probe into illegal gambling
Published on: June 13, 2017
A year-long investigation by B.C.’s anti-gang task force involving millions of illegally laundered money and illegal gaming houses in Metro Vancouver has led to the arrest of nine people.
Nine people have been arrested by B.C.’s anti-gang task force after a year-long investigation involving illegal gambling houses and millions of dollars in laundered money in Metro Vancouver.
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In May 2016, an integrated unit within the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit started a probe into a criminal organization allegedly operating illegal gambling houses, loan sharking, carrying out money laundering for drug traffickers, kidnappings, extortions and other violent acts.
“During the investigation, it was apparent there were multiple roles filled by different people (who) enabled or facilitated the organization in laundering large amounts of money through casinos,” said CFSEU Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett at a news conference Tuesday at RCMP “E” Division headquarters in Surrey.
Hackett pegged the amount of money laundered into the “millions.” He declined to name any of the casinos, but said they are all in the Lower Mainland.
The investigation by the joint illegal gambling investigation team also uncovered that the Lower Mainland-based organized crime group had operations that extended to China, he said.
A search of six homes led to the seizure of cash, drug paraphernalia, cellphones, computers, and a number of luxury vehicles, including one that had a sophisticated hidden compartment. Some of the items seized — stacks of bills in clear plastic bags, scales and bill-counters — were on display at the news conference. 
The suspects have not been charged but face possible charges of money laundering, drug trafficking and proceeds of crime. They are not in custody. None of them were employed by the casinos.
Peter Goudron, executive director of the B.C. Gaming Industry Association, said it is concerned by the CFSEU’s assertion that large amounts of money were laundered through casinos. 
“Given the robust (anti-money laundering) procedures in place at B.C. casinos we are unaware how this could have taken place and expect to learn more about their allegations in the near future,” he said in a statement. 
The association said B.C. casinos are required to report any cash buy-in over $10,000 and all suspicious transactions to the B.C. Lottery Corporation and Fintrac, Canada’s money-laundering watchdog.
The task force also executed a raid Monday night at an illegal gambling house in Richmond believed to be associated with the group, said Hackett. About three or four such venues were uncovered during the investigation. Some of them were located in homes. 

B.C.’s anti-gang task force shows off some of the money they seized at the RCMP ‘E’ Division headquarters in Surrey on Tuesday.
B.C.’s anti-gang task force shows off some of the money they seized at the RCMP ‘E’ Division headquarters in Surrey on Tuesday. JASON PAYNE / PNG

Illegal gambling, money laundering and loan sharking are lucrative sources of income for organized crime groups, said Hackett, warning people who use loan sharks or money launderers that the money they receive from these underground sources are often from illegal activity and fund criminals and their operations. 
The creation of the joint illegal gambling investigation team was announced in April 2016 by then-Finance Minister Michael de Jong. Its mandate was to crack down on illegal gambling and money laundering in casinos and illegal gambling houses by high-level crime groups. 
The unit includes investigators from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. and investigators from the provincial gaming policy and enforcement branch. Seventy per cent of its funding come from the B.C. Lottery Corp. 
At the height of this operation, about 200 people were working on the case.

Busy year for cash seizures by Canadian Border Services

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers seized $38,060 from a Middle East-bound traveller at the Calgary International Airport on Jan. 15.

Busy year for cash seizures by Canadian Border Services

Officials at Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) customs posts in airports and border crossings have had a busy time in the past few months seizing large amounts of undeclared and dodgy cash.
Travellers are allowed to carry as much cash or monetary goods as they want, but anything worth over $10,000 Canadian must be declared.
This is so the CBSA can report it to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTrac), which attempts to track funds destined for terrorist or criminal enterprises.
In the latest incident border agents seized almost $38,000 from a man leaving from Calgary International Airport en route to the Middle East
In answering routine questions from agents, the man said he was carrying $9,000.  Sent for secondary inspection, they found $18,000 in his clothing and carry-on, and another $20,000 in checked baggage.
Picture of counterfeit U.S. $100 bills found hidden in a shipment at the Edmonton International Airport. December 11, 2014. © Canada Border Services Agency
Agents said the man had a low level of income in comparison to the large sum of cash in his possession, and was unable to demonstrate to officers that he had legitimately obtained the money,
The money, all in Canadian $20 bills was seized under the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.
The man is not under arrest, and police continue their investigation as to whether any charges will be laid.
On June 1 2014, officials carrying out routine questioning of outbound passengers at the Edmonton Airport in Alberta seized almost $68,000 in cash.
Nearly $68,000 in currency seized by CBSA officers at the Edmonton International Airport. June 5, 2014.© Supplied by the Canada Border Services Agency
The traveller said he was carrying $20,000, but when sent for secondary inspection, they found $67,840 hidden in pockets and carry-on suitcase.
Most of the money was Canadian$20, $50  and $100 bills, but there was also Lebanese, Euros, and American cash.
Because the cash wasn’t declared it was seized as suspected proceeds of crime.
Also at the Edmonton Airport, a shipment of fake US bills was seized on December 2. 2014
Inspectors examining a courier shipment from Nigeria to an address in Edmonton found a magazine with the American currency hidden between the magazine’s pages.
CBSA investigates after man was found to be carrying $84,000 worth of undeclared U.S. and Canadian bills. The money was seized on December 8 at Calgary airport © Canada Border Services Agency
Closer examination showed the US $100 bills did not have the necessary security features in them. The fake bills totalling $397,000 were turned over to the RCMP.
This came on the heels of warnings about fake US bills in the area after several had been cashed at Edmonton businesses starting a couple of months earlier in October.
On December 8 at the Calgary International Airport, a man who claimed he was carrying $2,000 was later found to have the equivalent of $84,439.  As he was unable to demonstrate to CBSA agents that he had obtained the money legitimately, the cash was seized as suspected proceeds of crime with no terms of release
Every year, tens of millions of dollars is seized at Canadian entry/exit points. As an example, from April 2011 to June 2012, over $15 million in cash was seized at Vancouver airport alone, from travelers from China.  In June 2012, a Chinese passenger came in with $177,495.00 in undeclared money. It was seized but after investigation, most was returned, minus a $2,500 fine for not declaring the cash.  Typically Canadian fines range from $250- to $2,500.
Canada is a popular destination for those concerned about security in their own countries because unlike the United States, travellers are likely to get their money back after paying a fine.  Those caught trying to smuggle cash into the United States, face the possibility of stiffer fines, up to $500,000 and up to 10 years in prison.  Also in the US, the smuggled money is confiscated and not returned.

China-linked gang laundered “millions” through BC casinos


China-linked gang laundered “millions” through BC casinos


Canadian casinos are not having the greatest week, dealing with money laundering and the unauthorized public release of private customer data.
On Tuesday, British Columbia authorities announced the arrest of nine suspects in a widespread criminal enterprise that allegedly laundered millions of dollars through local casinos. Police have yet to indicate which casinos are involved but did say that none of the arrested suspects are casino employees.
The criminal gang, which has links to mainland China, stands accused of everything from money laundering to extortion to loan sharking to operating its own illegal gambling operations. The arrests followed a lengthy investigation that began in May 2016.
BC Gaming Industry Association exec director Peter Goudron expressed surprise at the scale of the money laundering allegations, telling the Vancouver Sun that “given the robust [anti-money laundering] procedures in place at BC casinos we are unaware how this could have taken place.”
Goudron’s befuddlement is curious, given that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has been repeatedly criticized for taking a Mr. Magoo approach to observing its AML responsibilities, a somewhat standard reaction whenever a state-run entity is tasked with both operating and regulating gambling services.
Ironically, the investigation that resulted in Tuesday’s arrests was started just one month after the BC government announced the formation of a Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team to replace the enforcement agency the BC government shut down in 2009 to save a whole C$1m in annual costs (a pittance, given BCLC earned profits of C$1.31b in its most recent fiscal year).
The timing of Tuesday’s bust is awkward, given that BCLC’s corporate security & compliance division is scheduled to give an “improvisational comedy” routine at next week’s Canadian Gaming Summit to “change the perception of their role” in BC’s gaming industry.
Across the border in Alberta, the Cowboys Casino in Calgary has warned its customers that unknown hackers have leaked their personal information online, and more is expected to hit the digital airwaves in the coming weeks.
Cowboys reported its internal servers being hacked in June 2016, leading to the digital theft of personal data – including the gambling habits of the casino’s “elite members” – belonging to 14,294 customers and staff.
At the time, the casino’s management alerted customers and the provincial privacy commissioner regarding the intrusion, but warned that it was powerless to stop the thieves from making the information public.
This week, a tranche of this data was posted to the Pastebin data-sharing service, along with a note accusing Cowboys Casino’s digital security of being “non-existent.” The author(s) of the note claimed to have warned the casino of their lax security ahead of the heist but this warning “was ignored for over a year.” The note said more data would be released in three subsequent batches unless the casino fixed its “security holes.”
Cowboys isn’t the only Canadian casino to have been targeted in this fashion. Last year also saw Ontario’s Casino Rama fall victim to a similar heist-and-post scheme. That case also featured hackers claiming to be acting in good faith to expose the lax security at gaming venues.