Alleged ‘heavyweight’ gangster could be poster child for B.C.’s public inquiry into money laundering

Alleged ‘heavyweight’ gangster could be poster child for B.C.’s public inquiry into money laundering

Kwok Chung Tam is a man with many identities and powerful connections — an alleged kingpin of a Chinese crime cartel so dominant in Canada that police

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Kwok Chung Tam is a man with many identities and powerful connections — an alleged kingpin of a Chinese crime cartel so dominant in Canada that police once said it could set the price of heroin on the streets of North America.According to allegations made by Canadian law enforcement officials between 1991 and 2014, Tam is a heroin importer, a chemical drug lab operator and a “known loan shark” with a history of violence.Story continues below

He’s also been fighting deportation for over 25 years. And according to recent court filings, Tam is believed to be residing in a luxury Richmond, B.C. condo.READ MORE: How Chinese gangs are laundering drug money through Vancouver real estateHe also has alleged ties to B.C.’s casino industry and to the province’s multibillion-dollar real estate money-laundering problem.If true, these claims suggest Tam could be one of the architects of the so-called “Vancouver Model” of transnational organized crime.READ MORE: Secret police study finds crime networks could have laundered over $1B through Vancouver homes in 2016And now that B.C.’s government has decided to launch a public inquiry into the province’s money-laundering scandal, the allegations against Tam and questions about his connections could illustrate how the Vancouver-area real estate market may have been exploited by Chinese organized crime.In 2018, a Global News investigation revealed that a secret police study linked more than $1 billion worth of high-end Vancouver-area property transactions in 2016 to suspected money laundering and organized crime, while an independent review released last week by B.C.’s government estimated $5 billion was laundered through the province’s real estate last year alone.Brazen ‘loan shark’ applies to stay in CanadaGlobal News has obtained thousands of pages of federal court records prepared by Tam’s lawyer — Vancouver-based immigration lawyer Peter Larlee — and the government that were submitted as part of an effort to keep Tam in Canada.The records, which include volumes of immigration and law enforcement files stretching back to 1988, outline nearly three decades of alleged criminal activity and Tam’s alleged connections to organized crime.Many of the records — including those about Tam’s alleged connection to the Big Circle Boys — have never been tested in court.WATCH: Timeline of money laundering in B.C. casinos

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