Thursday, April 24, 2008

 

Organized Crime, naa, not here, not ever ... [cue the hysterical laughter]

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GLOBAL ORGANIZED CRIME SPREADING: FBI
Use computers, target energy, help terrorists

Reuters
Published: Thursday, April 24, 2008

WASHINGTON -- International organized crime groups control "significant positions'' in global energy and strategic materials and are expanding holdings in the U.S. materials sector, the U.S. Justice Department said yesterday.

A strategy on fighting organized crime released by the department also says such groups manipulate securities exchanges and conduct financial fraud to steal billions of dollars. It says they systematically corrupt public officials, use computer networks to target victims, and provide logistical support to terrorists and foreign intelligence services.

"The activities of transnational and national organized criminal enterprises are increasing in scope and magnitude as these groups continue to strengthen their networking with each other to expand their operations,'' said FBI deputy director John Pistole

He did not give specific examples.


http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=7fb32bad-c44e-49c9-b83e-a6792149b783

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Comments:
Mary

Is there any way of gettng ahold of the court transcripts of Janet Winteringham's May 2007 rebuttal to McCullough and Bolton's allegations about disclosure. It was in this rebuttal that the Crowns allegation of an organized crime link to the Basi trial was revealed. There has been precious little coverage of Winteringham's statements since then.
 
Express Collision Shop Said,

Speaking of organized crime. Whistleblowers have it tough in BC. I just got off the phone with a friend and lawsuits and threats are rampant in the past few weeks. It seems that these threats are all being made to the whistleblowers and trade association that are helping expose this ICBC mess. The RCMP, media, lawyer's and the Competition Bureau have been notified of all threats.

The investigation has found that this mess is getting larger by the day. Many of the vehicles that were talked about being high end SUV's and trucks and sports cars maybe the tip of the iceberg. There are some really nice vintage, antique, classic cars under investigation now. Were not talking about $40-$70 thousand dollar vehicles here, these are worth a hell of a lot more than that. "Zero Tolerance For Fraud.
 
Anon 9:03,

Well, one way would be to phone the BC Supreme Court Registry office and ask directions. Not knowing where you live, I just give the link:

http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/sc/registry/

I imagine you'd need to give them the day/date the Crown made its allegation on Organized Crime.

No doubt they want payment for those pages, too, although these transcripts are supposed to be freely available to the public.

You have a good memory. I'd sure like to know, if you're successful in this.

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Ecs ... this is downright frightening, like: the human equivalent of Mountain Pine Beetle attacks on a healthy forest.

Didn't you always think it odd that I.C.B.C. escaped the wrecking crew, when so many other public assets in BC were sold off?

Special thanks for telling us these things. Can't fix the mess by looking the other way.

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Anon 9:03,

I've been looking for a ready answer to your question about Janet Winteringham's comment in court about Organized Crime, but time ran out on me. So I hope you can try googling:

"Organized Crime + Janet Winteringham + May 2007".

I got 43 hits, most of them Bill Tieleman reports, all of them bristling with items of great curiosity.

Uncanny, the way these OLD reports get more and more interesting. For example, from: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html


"All of the principle players in this case, including the three Pilothouse partners [and] Basi and Virk were all very, very active in the Paul Martin leadership campaign," Bolton told media outside the court on May 1. "At the same time of the B.C. Rail bids, the Paul Martin campaign was going on. You'll see a great deal of the connections between the Paul Martin leadership campaign and the B.C. Rail bidding process."

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I also looked for the remarks by Winteringham. But I looked to Bill Tielemans' Blog. I skimmed through it and there were a couple of slight references in Mid May. Maybe that would give the anon a closer date.

I also was outraged at the revelations of Express Collision Shop on the whistleblower aspect of the ICBC fiasco and wrote a small piece on How Bad is the Record?
 
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Well, ye of little faith (including Self): all you had to do was type in the question on THIS WEB-SITE and you'd get the answer ... ever think of that? Huh? Huh?


It's all there, in the Archives (left margin). Just click on the week including Sunday, September 09, 2007, and here's what you'll see:

Headline: Vancouver Sun's managing editor said they were working on a piece about Basi, Virk, B.C. Rail. That was 3 weeks ago. This isn't it.


But when B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett brings Courtroom 54 to order next week, on 17 September, we might begin to hear some answers to the questions raised (below) in Vancouver Sun 4 months ago:


DEFENCE SEEKS DRUG INFORMANTS' REPORTS
Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun - May 11, 2007

VANCOUVER - Defence lawyers representing three former government aides accused of corruption want to get access to hundreds of reports concerning 11 confidential informants who provided information to police during a drug investigation.

The Vancouver Island drug investigation, codenamed Project Everywhichway, targeted a criminal organization shipping kilograms of cocaine to the Toronto area and sent back cash by courier.

Police learned during a wiretap operation that the alleged drug ringleader was repeatedly calling Dave Basi in the summer of 2003.

At the time, Basi was the ministerial assistant to then-finance minister Gary Collins. The man calling Basi was his cousin, court was told earlier.

One of the confidential informants told police Basi was allegedly laundering drug money for his cousin and was trying to get him a government job.

Janet Winteringham, a member of the legal team prosecuting Basi and co-accused Bob Virk, told the court Thursday there were 448 briefing reports stemming from the 11 informants in the drug investigation.

"It was three of those informants who provided information about Mr. Basi," she explained.

The Crown has already disclosed to the defence 21 of the reports that included information from the three informants, Winteringham said. {Snip ... snip ... snip)


http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=28b68872-823e-4c37-b554-1e135a5baade

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... and from Victoria Times Colonist:

DRUG LINK ALLEGED IN BASI CASE
Phone calls from suspected dealer led to raid, prosecutor says
CanWest News Service - May 08, 2007

VANCOUVER -- A former B.C. government aide from Victoria, probed by police for his involvement in the B.C. Rail sale, appeared to have links to the illicit drug trade, a prosecutor said yesterday.

Police became aware of Dave Basi when calls were made to his cellphone from his cousin, Jasmohan Singh Bains of Victoria, prosecutor Janet Winteringham said in B.C. Supreme Court. {Snip} ...

Winteringham said police heard that Bains was head of a Victoria-based criminal organization that was shipping kilograms of cocaine to the Toronto area and shipping cash back by Federal Express. Bains is still facing trial, set for 2008.

The Victoria drug investigation began in May 2002 after the arrest in the U.S. of Cirilo Lopez, which resulted in "word on the street" indicating Bains was going to take over Lopez's drug operations, Winteringham said.

Tips from an informant suggested Basi was laundering money for Bains by purchasing real estate, Winteringham said.

After a wiretap operation was in place for the drug case, police overheard Basi discussing B.C. Rail matters.

At the time, Basi was an aide to Gary Collins, then B.C.'s finance minister. Virk, Basi's brother-in-law, was an aide to Judith Reid, then B.C.'s transportation minister. The province was in the midst of trying to sell B.C. Rail.

Prosecutors haven't decided whether to pursue the drug allegations against Basi. {Snip} ...

http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=82eeca7a-4f77-49f4-ad9b-949c6e66795c

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Questions, questions, questions ... questions which must be asked -- and answered -- if society is to continue as an open democracy. Why hasn't Bains been put on trial yet? Wouldn't it free up evidence in the Basi Virk trial? Or have crime and commerce become so entwined, it's hard to know where to begin? See what you think of the following story by Jonathan Manthorpe in today's (10 Sept 2007) edition of Vancouver Sun. Strange to say, this shocking story was in the Business Section. - BC Mary.

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Express Collision Shop Said,

Kicking Butt In Powell River. Good to see the nice people of Powell River getting some help from the BCCLA. We may need their help with ICBC.

These related drug connections and characters have added quite a twist to this mess right from day one. I remember that someone was told by a lawyer (outside the courthouse I believe) that there was a parallel investigation going on. Mary's bloggers have touched on this before. I have tried to find that with no success. These three informants piqued my thoughts about recent secret, secret witness's. This other investigation maybe connected to drugs or something else. The secret witness's still have me scratching my head. Drugs, corruption, money laundering and who the hell are these types getting the drugs from ? Scary. That might explain the secret witness's. I hope that for the sake of all that these witness's are not afraid for there live's.

The recent events at ICBC have many of us in the auto repair industry ------ off and severely dissapointed. Many of the employees that have been fired and under suspicion have worked with us closely for many years. It is sad that this has been going on for so long and it is shocking that all these people were allegedly involved. I would never have guessed that these men with families and high paying jobs would be involved in this mess. I wonder what these people tell their family, friends, wives and kids when this stuff happens ? Sad times for many and it has affected all. It is amazing how the actions of few, affects so many people. I said awhile ago that this mess will cost tens of millions of dollars. I think that might be a good guess.
 
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Ecs,

You've said it so well -- the [bad] actions of a few affect so many people.

Which is why we can't stop trying to sort it out, clean it up, put things right.

Did you notice this from yesterday's search:


"One of the confidential informants told police Basi was allegedly laundering drug money for his cousin and was trying to get him a government job."


If it's true, just think of it: that a fairly big crook might have been gently ushered into a B.C. government job. And why would a bigtime crook want a government job? To help people? To work, serving us better? Or to expand his own business? Jeez, think of that.

What a huge effect THAT would have had, on so many people who do work diligently in the government service.

You're downhearted now about ICBC, and who could blame you for that. But things are probably looking their very worst, right now, as the investigations get under way.

I hope you know that many of us are following what you're going through and wishing you good luck.

I've been wondering for a long time why ICBC managed to escape the fate of BCRail. The original mandate of ICBC doesn't really fit at all with the Campbell philosophy. So could all this have been anticipated? planned? Sheesh.

Stay strong, keep in touch. And thanks for caring about British Columbia.

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Express Collision Shop Said,

Organized crime in BC.

I believe in the beginning 2001 that the liberals had thoughts of privatising ICBC. There were plenty of private insurance companies very busy from 2000-2005. Nic Geer(ex Pattison exec) was the president for awhile and in no uncertain terms told Collins and company that it would be foolish to privatise ICBC. Geer and Collins had a nice little battle going on for awhile(Palmer did a good job on this battle). Geer stepped down or was pushed out under some strange circumstances. ICBC had a great battle with a large chain auto glass shop in 2003-2004. Geer and ICBC I believe pushed the libs a little too much and ------ off quite a few of the wrong people.

ICBC is too much of a cash cow for the gov. when it is run right. Remember they even gave us all $100.00 one year and took it back the next. After the Rail and Coquihalla fiasco's(the interior screamed Kruegers ear off)there has been no talk of privatising ICBC. It would be political suicide. Even with this recent scandal many folks in BC DON'T EVEN WANT TO TALK ABOUT ANY WRONGDOING'S WITH ICBC. This corporation even transcends political lines in many cases. However, this mess has some of the liberals talking about a break up of ICBC. After the next election and the Olympics maybe. I would bet a bushel of Chilliwack Sweet corn that not one liberal MLA even mentions the break up of ICBC. Too many problems to deal with this year including this ledge fiasco. Political Karma.
 
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Hi, Ecs:

Too doggone bad that "The Liberals" (make that "The Neo-Con Liberals" maybe?) can't accept the notion that other publicly-owned assets as well as ICBC are also sources of revenue and stability.

Very interesting stories you tell. I bet there are hundreds and thousands of B.C. stories waiting to be told, about this "Golden Era" we're living in.

I don't much like the idea of dictatorships but I sometimes think that ADVERSARIAL POLITICS has outlived its usefulness. It has now become destructive, toxic, and unpleasant.

I guess it takes real leadership to show us the way out of this mess.

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Reading the above just makes more reason to support BCSTV. FPTP has past its' usefull life and should be scrapped. Remove lots of Power from the Lords' office. Jo5ey
 
Perhaps if Waffling Wally left office, we could get an improved justice system. We are going into so much debt with all this "Olympics" b.s. we'll be paying for it 'til h--- freezes over.
 
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