B.C.’s Attorney General slams racist letter but doubles down on ‘Dirty Money’ reportadmin October 6, 2018 0 COMMENTS
OnePacificNews, October 6 2018, Saturday
Ng Weng Hoong
It’s been over three months since British Columbia’s attorney general, David Eby, released his sensational Dirty Money (1) report claiming Metro Vancouver’s housing market is being driven by casino-laundered money and the deadly opioid trade.
Former Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer Peter German, commissioned by the AG to make that claim, borrowed the term “Vancouver Model” from an Australian academic to package the trio of crises into one clear and present threat to the region. The chief villain in the narrative are Chinese criminals illegally transferring money out of China into Metro Vancouver where 20% of its population is of ethnic Chinese descent.
The media coverage that followed has left the impression that the region’s most serious threats are somehow associated with its 500,000 ethnic Chinese residents.
It’s one reason why a record 84% of Metro Vancouver’s (2) residents blame foreign, namely Chinese, buyers for the region’s runaway housing cost. They have chosen to ignore or downplay a host of other reasons that has been fuelling the region’s housing prices:
- Prolonged low interest rates;
- Ease of bank financing for homebuyers from 2008 to 2017;
- Lending by alternative mortgage lenders;
- Metro Vancouver’s population growth;
- Restrictive regulations and slow permitting for home construction;
- BC’s strong economy;
- The rising costs of labour and material.
- The inter-generational transfer of wealth
For months, neither Mr Eby nor Mr German responded to numerous requests by this reporter if they are concerned that Dirty Money may have tarred Metro Vancouver’s entire Chinese community with one broad brush. Even when asked later by Vancouver Sun’s veteran political columnist Vaughn Palmer (3), BC’s leading human rights defender continued to give non-answers.
Until this happened.
An ethnic Chinese realtor in Coquitlam received a letter threatening her, among other things, that “Chinks and gooks (4) are not welcomed or wanted in our neighborhood.”
In response to this reporter’s questions about the letter, Liam Butler, a spokesperson for the AG’s office, gave this reply:
“Our government condemns this despicable letter. Anyone who uses the German report to legitimize anti-Chinese sentiment is intentionally distorting the findings in order to perpetuate racist attacks.
“Any criminal actions, such as threats or hate crimes, should be brought to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.
“Dr. German’s report has made it quite clear the money laundering problem in Lower Mainland casinos is connected to local organized crime. Before we point our finger at anyone else, we must work on issues such as demand for drugs here in BC, and ensuring we have the necessary law enforcement response to white collar crime and money laundering.”
The AG’s condemnation of anyone using Dirty Money to legitimise anti-Chinese sentiments was his first. Its message was as clear and strong as it can be.
It was also overdue.
Why the delay of more than three months to issue such a simple but important statement? Did the rising political star with the potential to become BC’s next Premier need a racist letter to see that Dirty Money could provide easy fodder for Sinophobia?
Thanks to Mr Eby’s prolonged silence and the acquiesce of his BC NDP-Green Party government, the media and online forum participants had a clear run at underlining the supposed Chinese dimension in the region’s myriad of problems with housing, opioids and money laundering.
Even then, Mr Eby seems unsure about squashing the racial insinuations. His October 2 statement condemned the “racist attacks”, but it repeated everything that he and Mr German had said on June 27 with the release of Dirty Money report. The statement rehashed some of Mr Eby’s dubious comments. Here’s one:
“Thanks to Dr German’s work, I can say now with absolute certainty that…criminal money laundering, is taking place in BC’s casinos.
“I can tell you that it is tied to the opioid crisis that’s taken thousands of people from their families. It’s linked to the real estate market and housing prices that have made life unaffordable for BCers.”
This is Peter German’s “Vancouver Model” in which Chinese criminals launder drug money through the River Rock Casino in the Chinese-majority city of Richmond to inflate the region’s housing cost. Some (5) have made that connection, with a few journalists seemingly focused only on reporting Chinese people’s involvement in the region’s crimes and housing problems. ZeroHedge (6) has packaged these stories for a global audience in its on-going series to exaggerate the Chinese role in blowing bubbles and drugs through Vancouver.
But no one has yet explained how $10million a year laundered through the casino is supposed to cause Metro Vancouver’s rising housing prices. This was among the 21 questions posed by the Georgia Straight (7) that Mr Eby and Mr German have refused to answer.
In a phone conversation, AG spokesperson Mr Butler confirmed that Mr Eby would not be answering this as well as most of the Georgia Straight’s other questions. Mr Butler did not offer an explanation for the official silence.
Further undermining Dirty Money’s credibility, Mr German was found to have corporate ties (8) with a senior executive involved in the River Rock casino that allegedly is at the centre of BC’s money laundering scandal. In addition, Mr German’s sub-contracted investigator, Jerome Malysh, (9) had worked for the company that owns River Rock. How is Mr Eby’s judgment – and the entire investigation — to be trusted when his two key investigators have or had ties with the casino?
Mr Eby says there would be no prosecution or finger-pointing despite the alarmism he has raised about Metro Vancouver being swamped by dirty money.
Just as inexplicable, he has retained Mr German (10) to undertake the second part of the investigation. And he continues to insist that the Vancouver Model exists.
In the absence of prosecutions, the story is becoming an officially sanctioned conspiracy theory. In the absence of hard numbers, it is being kept alive by news reporting (11) that relies mostly on adjectives and descriptive writing
No wonder the Chinese community remains under a cloud. It will continue to be the target of online smear and innuendoes that occasionally surfaces in print, sufficient to warrant a warning and no further action from the AG.
Thanks to Mr Eby, racist letter writers have plenty of cover to continue with their work.
1. Dirty Money Report
2. Metro Vancouver Residents Believe Region is in the Midst of a Major Housing Crisis
3. Political urgency also goes missing in money laundering probe
Vaughn Palmer: Political urgency also goes missing in money laundering probe
4. Chinese Canadian realtor receives racist letter warning ‘Ch*nks and G*oks’ not welcomed
5. Hong Kong, Macau pivotal players in massive criminal racket using Canadian casinos, ‘dirty money’ report claims
6. Behind Vancouver’s Housing Bubble: How Canadian Casinos Are Use To Launder Millions In Chinese Drug Money
7. An open letter to Attorney General David Eby and investigator Peter German on B.C.’s Dirty Money report
8. Peter German denies conflict in B.C. casino probe despite sitting on board with casino executive
Exclusive: Peter German denies conflict in B.C. casino probe despite sitting on board with casino executive
9. B.C. casino review contractor previously consulted for River Rock Casino
Exclusive: B.C. casino review contractor previously consulted for River Rock Casino
10. B.C. government details new reviews designed to curb money laundering in real estate
11. How Chinese gangs are laundering drug money through Vancouver real estate
How Chinese gangs are laundering drug money through Vancouver real estate