How a network of narcos, tycoons and Chinese Communist Party agents infiltrated the West
The best selling book has been updated and released June 8, 2022
Soon after Wilful Blindness was published, I learned the book was having an
impact in Beijing. I was contacted by Canadian intelligence and informed that
Chinese espionage assets in Canada had been tasked with collecting information
on me. Beijing wanted to know how the public was reacting to my book,
and whether it could damage the Chinese Communist Party.
It was shocking to hear this, but I wasn't surprised that the United Front
Work Department's thin-skinned apparatchiks felt threatened by my granular
reporting on their operations in Vancouver. I had named names and cited documents.
I had even developed sources within local Chinese espionage networks.
And I had drawn links between senior CCP official Bin Zhang, Markham
underground casino suspect Wei Wei, and a Chinese front company that
donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's
family foundation. It can't be overstated how significant this reporting was. I
showed how this espionage operation extended to elite criminal suspects and
their United Front comrades in Vancouver, including the flag-waving leaders
of rallies against Hong Kong Canadians. This in turn was all connected to
Triad suspects with deep ties to illegal casinos, violent loan-sharking networks,
Chinese police forces and military, and the Vancouver Model of money laundering
and economic infiltration.
And I continued to dig. After my book came out, I learned that the key
fundraiser and Chinese community organizer for Justin Trudeau in Toronto
was flagged in Fintrac suspicious transaction reports. The documents said this
Markham man had, in just a few months, routed millions of dollars of wire
transfers from Hong Kong for Chinese corruption suspects accused of big-time
real estate money laundering in Canada. He was also tight with a top-tier CSIS.....
This newly updated book provides readers with over 18,000 words of new information regarding the infiltration of China, Russia and Iranian agents to undermine the very democracy we hold dear. Politicians and business elite including former Ambassador to Canada, Dominic Barton facilitated and helped the criminal enterprises get a secure hold in the West.
Cooper has exposed the close ties between Chinese nationals who are dedicated to Beijing and have bought influence with all political parties in Canada. It's about time that former PM's cut their lucrative arrangements with the PRC and Cooper makes a compelling case as to how money through these networks has undermined our political process and policy engagement with the Peoples's Republic of China.
Sam's vigorous journalism on tracking and exposing money laundering has been crucial in the national push to reform and update Canada's laws. This book pulls his work, and indeed the work of many professionals, into one explosive narrative. Canadian lore often pitches our country as a well-meaning good partner in the world. But as Sam's report has shown, we are a node in global systems of corruption and crime, with the infiltration and implications only becoming worse over time.
James Cohen, President of Transparency International Canada
"A Gripping read that you won't want to put down"
Benedict Rogers, Hong Kong Watch
"This is a must-read book for concerned citizens who want to keep their democratic societies free"
Solomon Yue, Vice-Chair and CEO, Republicans Overseas
In 1982 three of the most powerful men in Asia met in Hong Kong. They would decide how Hong Kong would be handed over to the People's Republic of China and how Chinese business tycoons Henry Fok and Li Ka-Shing would help Deng Xiaoping realize the Chinese Communist Party's domestic and global ambitions. That meeting would not only change Vancouver but the world. Billions of dollars in Chinese investment would soon reach the shores of North America's Pacific coast. B.C. government casinos became a tool for global criminals to import deadly narcotics into Canada and launder billions of drug cash into Vancouver real estate. And it didn't happen by accident.
A cast of accomplices - governments hungry for revenue, casino and real estate companies with ties to shady offshore wealth, professional facilitators including lawyers and bankers, an aimless RCMP that gave organized crime room to grow - all combined to cause this tragedy. There was greed, folly, corruption, conspiracy, and wilful blindness.
Decades of bad policy allowed drug cartels, first and foremost the Big Circle Boys - powerful transnational narco-kingpins with ties to corrupt Chinese officials, real estate tycoons, and industrialists - to gain influence over significant portions of Canada's economy. Many looked the other way while B.C.'s primary industry, real estate, ballooned with dirty cash. But the unintended social consequences are now clear: a fentanyl overdose crisis raging in major cities throughout North America and life spans falling for the first time in modern Canada, and a runaway housing market that has devastated middle-class income earners.
This story isn't just about real estate and fentanyl overdoses, though. Sam Cooper has uncovered evidence that shows the primary actors in so-called "Vancouver Model" money laundering have effectively made Canada's west coast a headquarters for corporate and industrial espionage by the CCP. And these ruthless entrepreneurs have used Vancouver and Canada to export their criminal model to other countries around the world including Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Cooper finds that the RCMP's 2019 arrest of its top intelligence official, Cameron Ortis, raises many frightening questions. Could Chinese transnational criminals and state actors targeting Canada's industrial and technological crown jewels have gained protection from the Mounties?
Could China and Iran have insight into Canada's deepest national security secrets and influence on investigations? According to the evidence Cooper has found, Ortis had oversight of many investigations into transnational money laundering networks and insight into sensitive probes of suspects seeking to undermine Canada's democracy and infiltrate the United States.
Wilful Blindness is a powerful narrative that follows the investigators who refused to go along with institutionalized negligence and corruption that enabled the Vancouver Model, with Cooper drawing on extensive interviews with the whistle-blowers; thousands of pages of government and court documents obtained through legal applications; and large caches of confidential material available exclusively to Cooper.
The book culminates with a shocking revelation showing how deeply Canada has been compromised and what needs to happen to get the nation back on track with its "Five Eyes" allies.
"I'm astonished that some Hollywood production company hasn't already signed him for a big-screen treatment of this story. It's a huge story." - Terry Glavin, National Post
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