You are on page 1of 17

From: Ottawa Citizen

Donna Jacobs Citizen Special

Monday, August 25, 2008
For Canadian diplomat Brian McAdam, it wasn't that he had uncovered the lucrative sale of
Canadian visas during his posting at Canada's Hong Kong consulate. Both Canadian and
Chinese consular staff, he says, were selling visas to members of the Chinese mafia and
Communist China's intelligence service. The price, he heard, ranged from $10,000 to
$100,000 per visa.
It wasn't that reports he sent to his bosses in Canada -- details on murderers, money
launderers, smugglers and spies trying to enter Canada -- were met with silence or mostly
It wasn't dozens of threatening calls -- "Stop what you're doing or you're going to find yourself
dead" -- from Triad members during his 1989-1993 stint in Hong Kong.
What finally broke him down, he says, was "the incredible feeling of betrayal from my
colleagues. I'd worked with these people for years."
"It goes to your very soul," he says. "It is a spiritual crisis. It is a psychological breakdown."
There was the day he got a phone call from his Hong Kong Police Department source, who
was wiretapping a Triad kingpin.
"What shocked the Hong Kong policeman was that the Triad member had phoned someone
in the Canadian immigration minister's office in Ottawa," says Mr. McAdam.
"The officer commented: 'With that kind of relationship, you've got a really serious problem.' "
What shocked Mr. McAdam was what the officer said next: The Canadian reassured the Triad
boss, "Don't worry about McAdam and what he's doing. We'll take care of him."
And, says Mr. McAdam, they did. Immigration Canada offered him a good new job in Ottawa.
He returned -- and found that his ostracism was complete. His 30-year career in Europe, the
Caribbean and Asia was over.
That stunning moment of clarity shut him down, physically and mentally. After two years on
medical leave, swinging between hypersomnia -- sleeping 20 hours a day -- and insomnia, he
says he finally did what his bosses and almost all of his co-workers wanted. In 1993, at age
51, he took early retirement.
Though bereft of job, he says, "I felt free of a horrible group of people."
"Ill, depressed and unemployed," he says, "I knew what I'd discovered was profoundly
In his 850-page manuscript --working title The Dragon's Deception -- he writes: "I was
mocked, demeaned and threatened in a hostile environment while dealing with some of the
world's most ruthless criminals. Staff in both Hong Kong and in Ottawa gave copies of my
confidential reports about some of the criminals to the gangsters themselves, and that greatly
put my life at risk. I received death threats for a number of years but no one has ever been
concerned about my safety. The big question (was): Why did Canadian diplomats in Hong
Kong and bureaucrats in Ottawa do whatever they could to destroy my work and myself?"
As he tells it, around that time, he was formulating the idea of a formal investigation to verify
and enlarge his findings in Hong Kong. By 1995, a dozen CSIS and RCMP officers formally
launched their first joint project: Operation Sidewinder
Concealing his ill health, Mr. McAdam supplied the team with extensive documentation of
China's criminals and the Communist government's ambitious program of acquisition,
espionage and political influence in Canada and around the world.
The RCMP's own more narrow investigation into Mr. McAdam's discoveries -- separate from
Sidewinder -- had begun in 1992. They probed incidents of corruption but limited themselves
to locally engaged staff -- not Canadians.
A seven-year investigation ensued. Seven RCMP investigators came and went. "As soon as
one (Mountie) would investigate, they'd pull him off," Mr. McAdam says. "Another officer
would come along, start to make discoveries and would be pulled off."
"I believe both probes (by the Sidewinder team and by the RCMP) had considerable political
interference to shut them down," says Mr. McAdam, "and it seemed to be coming from the
highest levels."
Mr. McAdam credits David Kilgour, then Liberal MP for Edmonton-Strathcona and secretary of
state for Latin America and Africa, for his persistent letters. Mr. Kilgour sent his first letter
directly to then-prime minister Jean Chrétien asking for a public inquiry -- which Mr. McAdam
had requested and continues to request. However, the government ordered an RCMP probe.
Mr. Kilgour later sent letters asking the force to end its delays.
Among the RCMP officers sent to Hong Kong was a 26-year veteran, Cpl. Robert Read, who,
in 1996, spent months reviewing and corroborating many of Mr. McAdam's findings. When
RCMP Supt. Jean Dubé pulled him off the file in 1997, the Mountie publicly accused him of
obstruction -- a charge the RCMP dismissed. Supt. Dubé fired Cpl. Read.
"They fired him to stop the investigation," says Mr. McAdam. Cpl. Read took his case -- the
incriminating material, political connections between the Chinese government and Mr.
Chrétien's Liberal government, the evidence of a coverup -- to the media.
In 2003, an RCMP external committee confirmed Cpl. Read's findings. It found the RCMP
"consistently demonstrated a reluctance to investigate" and ordered the force to rehire him.
The RCMP refused. Cpl. Read sued.
Recently retired Giuliani Zaccardelli was RCMP commissioner at the time.
In 2005, Federal Court Justice Sean Harrington heard Cpl. Read's case and upheld the firing
for "lack of loyalty to the government." In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear
the case. Cpl. Read's and Mr. McAdam's stories are told on
The Sidewinder report supported Mr. McAdam. It went further: "They found that crime
members with ties to China's military intelligence had invested billions in Canada," says Mr.
McAdam, "in high-tech, in computer companies, telecommunication companies."
A few days after Sidewinder's final report was sent to CSIS in 1997, Sidewinder was shut
down. CSIS disbanded the team and directed the investigators to destroy every document.
Says Mr. McAdam: "It tells you there's a coverup going on."
The Sidewinder team destroyed hundreds of pages of Mr. McAdam's research, his books and
his reports.
"I trusted I'd get it all back" -- he laughs at the idea of having to make copies to protect his
material from Canadian law enforcement. "I never dreamed this would be the outcome -- all
kinds of material, just gone.
"The (Sidewinder) team leader was demoted after submitting the report. He resigned. And
CSIS's almost sole China expert also resigned in disgust.
"At least six investigations by the U.S. Senate and Congress, from 1997 to 2003,
corroborated Sidewinder's findings," he says. "Though senior management at CSIS maligned
the report as 'rumour-laced conspiracy theory,' others saw it as 'groundbreaking' and 'years
ahead of the curve.' "
Ward Elcock, who retired in 2004, was CSIS director at the time.
Since then, the FBI has named China as the biggest intelligence threat to the U.S., says Mr.
And Canada, he says, is now known as "one of the world's centres for Chinese organized
crime and espionage."
Last year, CSIS director Jim Judd testified before the Senate that nearly half of all spies from
15 countries who operate in Canada work for China -- and consume half his counter-
espionage resources.
Mr. McAdam says: "I feel better than I have for 15 years. I feel fantastic, tremendous. I feel
back to normal."
What saved him? "The love of my wife, Marie. I'd never be alive without her. She nurtured me
and cared for me beyond belief." And, he adds, determination. "I wanted to stop Chinese
criminals and spies from trying to destroy our country."
These days, although he's never called upon by his own government, Mr. McAdam has
started to do international consulting work on global operations -- including Canada -- of the
increasingly strong partnership of Chinese intelligence and organized crime.
"I'm on a crusade," he says. "I don't know how to describe it any other way. I don't think we
should be selling our country to China."

Donna Jacobs Citizen Special

Monday, September 8th, 2008
Canadians have fallen for a Chinese government "charm offensive," says a former Canadian
diplomat and specialist on Chinese mafia "Triad" gangs and Communist China's government-
directed espionage in Canada.
Brian McAdam
"I think politicians have to take off rose-coloured glasses and realize what China is all about,"
says Brian McAdam. "The Canadian government thinks it has to pander to China's needs and
to align its foreign policy towards China. This is foolhardy."
Mr. McAdam had a 30-year career in Canada's diplomatic service with assignments in
Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and the Far East. His career ended soon after he
discovered a lucrative visa-for-sale scam operating inside Canada's consulate in Hong Kong.
He spent several years warning the Canadian government that Canada was admitting
Chinese criminals and government spies. Immigration and External Affairs (now Foreign
Affairs and International Trade) ignored his consular reports.
Ostracized and in ill-health, Mr. McAdam took early retirement in 1993, at age 51. However,
he later instigated a joint CSIS-RCMP investigation, Project Sidewinder, which, in its 1997
report, confirmed his findings.
"This document," said the Sidewinder Report preface, "does not present theories but
indicators of a multifaceted threat to Canada's national security based on concrete facts
drawn from the databanks of the two agencies involved (RCMP and CSIS), classified reports
from allied agencies and various open sources." A few days after the Sidewinder team
submitted its report, CSIS ordered all copies destroyed and the investigation disbanded. CSIS
justified the report's destruction as "conspiracy theories -- rumour and innuendo."
Mr. McAdam has now become an international consultant, expert and author on Triads,
Chinese Intelligence Services, their partnership and activities in Canada and worldwide.
He says that five myths perpetuate the West's "fantasy" view of China.

Myth 1: Trade with China benefits Canada

"How many times have you heard that China is now Canada's second largest trading
partner?" asks Mr. McAdam. "This means that China is our second-largest source of imports
after the U.S. -- not that our trade with China has improved."
He notes that China now exports more than four times as much to Canada ($38.3 billion) as
we are selling to them ($9.3 billion). Statistics Canada says the Canadian trade deficit with
China expanded from $3.9 billion in 1997 to $26.8 billion in 2006.
"China is really using Canada almost as a colony," says Mr. McAdam, "getting raw materials
from us and selling them back to us in finished products ranging from furniture and clothes to
plastics and high-tech equipment.
"Canada doesn't need China," he says. "China needs Canada."

Myth 2: China has 1.3 billion customers

"It's a mirage -- there are one billion peasants who cannot afford a bottle of Coke," Mr.
McAdam says. The real customer base is 300 million -- people with privileged government
He says that the West's widespread trade deficits with China spring from low wages and
prisoner slave labour, counterfeit products and pirated intellectual property.
While a few Canadian companies make money in China, he says, the fantasy of broad-based
beneficial trade has been "created by people to justify" a close relationship with China.

Myth 3: China is becoming a democratic nation

"Trade has not brought democracy to China and never will," says Mr. McAdam. Nor will it
bring China free speech, free media, free worship or free demonstrations -- graphically
confirmed in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and this year in Tibet.
He quotes Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who said last year that "democracy is probably still
100 years away."

Myth 4: China has improved human rights

With Olympic visitors gone home, Mr. McAdam predicts, China "will crack down" on its
Mr. McAdam laments that "nobody is really taking China to task over its human rights
violations." Even in Canada, Chinese émigrés and students are "intimidated by the Chinese
government, which leads them to think that they, or their families back home, will be harmed
-- unless they spy." This includes some targeted students, scientists, businessmen, foreign
delegations and public servants, he says.
Most of the Chinese media in Canada are controlled by the Communist government or its
proxies, says Mr. McAdam. "The information that the Chinese population is getting here in
Canada -- they might as well live in Communist China."

Myth 5: China is benign

"China is engaged in a stunning espionage effort, buying ... its way towards high-tech
superpower status as fast as it can," says Mr. McAdam. "It wants to have the world's best
Ten months ago, the U.S. government concluded, in a 350-page analysis titled 2007 Report to
Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission: "China is
supplementing the technologies that its defense industry obtains through commercial
transfers and direct production partnerships with an aggressive and large-scale industrial
campaign. Chinese espionage activities in the United States are so extensive that they
comprise the single greatest risk to the security of American technologies."
(The Sidewinder Report, incidentally, had reached a similar conclusion in Canada: "China
remains one of the greatest ongoing threats to Canada's national security and Canadian
industry. There is no longer any doubt that the ChIS [Chinese Intelligence Services] have
been able to gain influence in important sectors of the Canadian economy, including
education, real estate, high technology, security and many others. In turn, it [influence] gave
them access to economic, political and some military intelligence of Canada.")
In 2005, during question period, Stephen Harper, then-Conservative leader of the Opposition,
criticized the Liberal government for not taking the Chinese espionage threat seriously.
"Today the former head of the CSIS Asia desk (Michel Juneau-Katsuya) confirmed reports
from defectors that close to 1,000 Chinese government agent spies have infiltrated Canada,'
said Mr. Harper. He quoted Mr. Juneau-Katsuya's estimate that Chinese spies cost Canada
$1 billion each month through industrial espionage. Mr. McAdam's conclusion today: "China
has dangled billions of dollars of trade, seducing many countries into ignoring human rights
issues in China and allowing China to acquire their industrial and military secrets.
"Canada's foreign policy in a nutshell, is 'Shhh, don't upset China because it might affect
"We need politicians, the media, and others to tell the truth to Canadians and not continue the
fantasies. And Canadians must let the government know that a comprehensive China policy
based upon facts is long overdue."
From Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP by Paul Palango.
Copyright © 2008 by Paul Palango.

Paul Palango, National Post

Published: Friday, November 14, 2008
Newly appointed RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli refused to elaborate on the
"sophisticated criminal organizations" he referred to in his inaugural Sept. 7, 2000 press
conference. But many reporters knew what he was referring to: Project Sidewinder, the joint
RCMP- CSIS investigation that had begun eight years earlier following discoveries of
irregularities at the Canadian consulate in Hong Kong.
As investigators followed the trail, they became concerned about the apparent links between
the Chinese government, Chinese criminal triads, and leading Canadian business leaders
and politicians. There were leads that investigators were eager to pursue back to Canada, but
the controversial on-and-off investigation had been wound up without charges years earlier in
puzzling circumstances. Yet it would not die.
For police and intelligence insiders, the inexplicable demise of Project Sidewinder was
perceived to have been the latest and best example of politicians influencing police
investigations. The leading Canadian businessman in China was Jean Chretien's son-in-law,
Andre Desmarais, and the leading company operating there was his Power Corp.
Inside the RCMP, members had been grumbling that something needed to be done to save
the force from political piranhas. To their delight, Zaccardelli seemed to be carving out an
independent course for both himself and the force. His was the kind of leadership the RCMP
craved, a commissioner who would finally stand up to the politicians and let the police do their
job, without interference. The rule of law would trump the rule of politics. It looked as if
Canada was finally headed on the right track.
The day Zaccardelli spoke, Chretien was in New York attending the two-day Millennium
Summit of the United Nations, where he addressed a plenary session on the conflict in East
Timor. "An incredibly diverse nation, we are deeply committed to freedom, tolerance, justice
and equality. We know the sense of community that comes from sharing prosperity and
opportunity," Chretien told his fellow world leaders. "Alleviating world poverty is our common
cause. We must share the benefits of globalization. We must give it a human purpose and a
human face."
When he got back to Ottawa, Chretien was first shocked and then furious about Zaccardelli's
apparent ambush, a confidential source said. He could not fire Zaccardelli only a week into
his job -- even after a public performance like the one Zaccardelli had just given.
Though politicians, critics and the Mounties themselves complained that the RCMP had
become a politicized police force, no one has ever found the smoking gun. What happened
that weekend in September, 2000, might well have been one. Confidential sources say
Zaccardelli was summoned to an emergency tete-atete with Chretien. He showed up in full
dress uniform.
Chretien let him cool his jets for two and a half hours in the foyer before having him ushered
in. The commissioner was looking like a loose cannon, but Chretien had to be extremely
careful about what he said and how he said it. The Desmarais connection was as touchy a
subject as there could be. Chretien's predecessor, Brian Mulroney, was back working with the
Desmarais family on Power Corp.'s international board of advisers. Chretien did not even risk
raising the family name. He also knew that he could not threaten Zaccardelli or order him to
do anything untoward because the commissioner might just turn around and use that against
him. Delicacy was the watchword.
Sources familiar with what took place that day said that Zaccardelli told the prime minister that
he had only been doing his job the way the law demanded and the public expected.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Act of 1984 lists specified "threats to the security of
Canada," which includes "foreign-influenced activities within or relating to Canada that are
detrimental to the interests of Canada and are clandestine or deceptive or involve a threat to
any person." RCMP investigators had reasonable suspicions of a possible criminal conspiracy
and were thus duty-bound to revive the Sidewinder file and pursue the case.
Of course, Zaccardelli stated, a useful by-product was that such a public display of
independence helped to raise the morale of the force. It showed the world that he was not in
the government's pocket, like a few of his predecessors; that he was truly independent. Only
in this way could his leadership be accepted by his fellow Mounties and ultimately be
Chretien was too cagey not to see where all this was headed. He told Zaccardelli that it would
be wrongheaded for him to pursue the investigation because it had already been settled a
year earlier. A source said the conversation went something like this:
"There was nothing to it," the prime minister told the new commissioner. "It's no good for the
image of the country if the police are seen to always be chasing the prime minister or
prominent business leaders, like they did with Mulroney."
Chretien hammered out a deal with Zaccardelli. Chretien implied he did not care what the
RCMP did--or how it did it -- as long as it respected his turf. "I don't want to know anything,"
he said, disingenuously. He really did want to know and had ways to find out.
Business links to Chretien in China were a matter of public record. He had worked closely
with Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing in one of Li's companies. The Desmaraises were just
about the only Canadian capitalists making a killing in China. It was clear to Chretien that the
end result of the Project Sidewinder investigation -- should it continue -- would lead inevitably
to an investigation of him, his extended family and their considerable corporate holdings.
Power Corp. also had a large stake in China where it was heavily invested in a multitude of
projects. For Chretien, protecting his corporate interests and contacts was much more
important than the public interest.
Chretien decided that if Zaccardelli and the Mounties backed off, he would stay out of
Zaccardelli's business and let him run the force as he saw fit. Zaccardelli's gambit had been
as cleverly designed as an undercover police operation. He had lured the prime minister into
a confrontation and then presented him with an offer he could not refuse. It had worked
perfectly. Both men had received what they wanted. The Sidewinder file evaporated into the
mists, and was never again pursued, to the surprise, if not shock, of the rest of the RCMP.
"Zac made this big announcement about organized crime and all these threats and we were
all revved up to get going, and then nothing ever happened. It just dropped off the radar,
never to be seen or heard again," said former RCMP superintendent Garry Clement. Clement
had been intimately involved in the Sidewinder investigation. "It was weird the way that whole
thing happened."
Zaccardelli believed he now had a free hand to run the RCMP any way he pleased. In only his
first week as commissioner, Zaccardelli had effectively created a sinecure for himself,
unencumbered by oversight or political criticism. Feeling politically safe and protected, he
soon began to reveal his true nature. And the dominoes that would lead to his downfall began
to fall.

Nest of Spies

The Startling Truth About Foreign Agents At Work Within Canada’s Borders
By: Fabrice de Pierrebourg and Michel Juneau-Katsuya
“Nest Of Spies” provides an intriguing window into the booming business of espionage, the
goals and techniques of foreign agencies, and who is doing what to whom. In doing so it
paints a disturbing picture of Canada’s failure to protect itself from predatory foreign powers,
to the detriment of both our national interests and our citizens’ safety and well-being. This
book is of special interest to whistleblowers because it validates former diplomat Brian
McAdam’s warnings (dating back to 1993) that Canada has been infiltrated by Chinese
agents and organized crime.
The craft of espionage is as old as human conflict, but the collapse of the USSR and the end
of the ‘Cold War’ seemed to promise the beginning of a new, more peaceful era, with perhaps
less need for espionage.
This proved to be a false hope. As the threat of military conflict between superpowers ebbed,
the battle for commercial supremacy intensified. Hence the considerable resources and
expertise that countries like Russia previously devoted to military espionage were simply
redirected into areas such as industrial espionage, in an attempt to modernize outdated
industries. Stealing new technology is so much quicker and cheaper than developing it.
Many developed countries – such as the USA, Britain and France – quickly responded, both
to defend themselves and to counter-attack, and without a clearly-defined enemy soon
everyone was spying on everyone else: stealing technology from friends is just as profitable
as stealing from enemies.
The agents of foreign powers pursue multiple goals: industrial espionage, to enhance their
trade and commerce; military espionage to enhance their weapons and military capabilities;
propaganda and political interference, to protect their interests by ‘peaceful’ means; and the
monitoring and control of immigrant populations abroad. The latter is particularly important to
despotic regimes which seek to silence all critics – including those who have escaped and
sought refuge in other countries.
Canada is a tempting target because we are a rich country – a substantial market – with
much leading-edge technology and close connections (economic, military and political) to the
USA and other developed countries. Our accepting, multicultural society makes it easy for
foreign agents to blend in and go undetected. Our large immigrant population also represents
a threat to certain foreign powers – harbouring escaped dissenters who must be monitored
and neutralized – as well as an opportunity to recruit as agents immigrants who either remain
loyal to their home country or can be coerced.
In addition, the risks to foreign agents operating in Canada are virtually non-existent because
we have weak laws and weak (arguably non-existent) enforcement – agents are rarely
caught, rarely expelled or put out of business, and almost never punished. All in all, foreign
agents operating in Canada may consider that they have died and gone to heaven. Small
wonder that by some estimates Canada’s losses to industrial espionage run at about $10-12
billion/year – five times worse than the USA on a per capita basis.
Who is taking the most advantage of Canada’s weakness? – many countries (the book
names them) but above all China, which has a massive presence here and aggressive goals.
China has been given permission to maintain 120 ‘diplomats’ on Canadian soil – double that
of our neighbour, ally and largest trading partner the USA. It is estimated that more than 200
Canadian companies are fronts for Chinese industrial espionage. In 2006 Prime Minister
Harper claimed that there are more than 1,000 Chinese agents operating in Canada. In 2007
the head of CSIS testified to a Senate committee that China is the most dangerous of more
than 15 countries operating espionage agents here. It seems evident that CSIS does not have
the resources to cope with this tsunami of foreign snooping, theft and interference – it is
Besides industrial espionage, one of the main goals of Chinese agents is to control the
Chinese population in Canada, and above all to attack a perceived enemy: the Falun Gong. A
Chinese agent who defected in Australia revealed that within Chinese missions around the
world this attack is assigned more resources than any other single program. Falun Gong is a
peaceful spiritual movement that used to be officially encouraged in China until 1999, when its
popularity spooked the Communist leaders and it was swiftly outlawed and denounced as an
“evil cult”.
Within China, Falun Gong practitioners face persecution worse than any other religious or
ethnic group, suffering mass confinement in labour camps and, it is believed, summary
execution to obtain organs for transplants. Canadians who belong to this movement are
subject to constant harassment right here in our own cities, ranging from physical threats and
violence to political manoeuvres designed to discredit, silence and marginalize them – while
Canadian authorities turn a blind eye or even provide cover by parroting the Chinese
mission’s crude propaganda.
Let’s return to the whistleblower connection and Brian McAdam, because this illustrates in a
nutshell our leaders’ chronic ineptitude and refusal to face reality on security matters. In
Canada, the Sidewinder report, which addressed many of the concerns about China
described in Nest of Spies, has been systematically suppressed and every effort made by
officialdom to discredit it. The report itself was ordered destroyed and thousands of pages of
evidence shredded, including all of McAdam’s files on the infiltration of the Canadian mission
in Hong Kong.
Fortunately a similar investigation was conducted in the USA around the same time by a
House Select Committee. This produced the Cox report which arrived at virtually identical
conclusions. However, unlike Sidewinder, the Cox report is publicly available, courtesy of the
US bureaucracy. It even be purchased (in summary form) as a paperback from Amazon.
I recommend "Nest of Spies" as an antidote
to complacency about Canada’s safety and security in a dangerous world.
David Hutton
Executive Director, Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR)
February 11th, 2010

A Canadian scandal made in Hong Kong

Asian Pacific News Service – October 2, 2003
A RCMP investigation that tracked the lives of some of Hong Kong's top tycoons, civil
servants and gangsters with strong ties to Canada has been condemned by the police
forces own security watchdog.
Now the Jean Chretien-led federal government is facing accusations of pressuring the RCMP
to shut down the investigation which was originally sparked by allegations of corruption and
organized crime infiltration at the Canadian High Commission in Hong Kong, (see The Asian
Pacific Post, April 25- May 8, 2002).
Many of those looked at in the so called 'Hong Kong probe' have strong ties to the Canadian
government politicians, do extensive business in British Columbia and Ontario while others
had applied to emigrate to Canada.
They include former Hong Kong immigration chief Lawrence Leung, International Basketball
Federation chairman Carl Ching Meng Ky, legislator Rita Fan, businessmen brothers Timothy,
Robert and Gordon Fu, originally from Taiwan who set up Imperial Consultants in Hong Kong
to help thousands to migrate to Canada under an investor immigration program, Albert Yeung
Sau Shing chairman of the Emperor Group and tycoons Stanley Ho, Li Ka Shing and Cheng
Yu Tung.
In addition, the botched probe also looked at least 16 Triad figures who were applying to
emigrate to Canada, including senior thugs of the Sun Yee On, Woh Hop To, Tan Yee and
Kung Lok triads.
This month after almost a decade of investigations, reviews and accusations of cover-ups,
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police External Review Committee, which is an independent
agency that reports to the Canadian Parliament said the Canadian investigators failed to do
their job properly.
In a scathing report the review committee said Asian organized crime figures may have
entered Canada because the RCMP failed to properly investigate allegations of widespread
corruption at the Canadian High Commission in Hong Kong.
"While there is no evidence of a cover-up on the part of the force, there were important
shortcomings in the investigative process followed by the force since 1991, with the result that
it remains possible that employees of the mission were able to engage in immigration fraud
on a widespread basis and that such activities have remained undetected to date," it said.
The report adds that the possible consequences of the failure were that "Hong Kong residents
who should not have been admitted to Canada, such as triad members, were able to bypass
any screening by immigration officials prior to receiving a visa to immigrate to Canada."
The RCMP was reluctant to investigate the activities of embassy employees suspected of
taking bribes, partly because it did not want to damage its relationship with the Canadian
Department of Foreign Affairs, the committee found.
The highly sensitive and secret investigation was exposed by Asian Pacific Post editorial
consultant Fabian Dawson in August 1999 in a series of articles first published in The
The review committee in its report said Dawson published "among the most detailed
accounts" of the matter, revealing that Chinese mafia members had allegedly paid embassy
employees to scrub their criminal backgrounds from Canadian government computer files.
As a result of the articles, RCMP Corporal Robert Read, who at that time was the key
investigator in the case, was fired for talking to the media.
But the review committee ruled that Read was justified in taking his concerns to the press and
said that he should be reinstated.
"What is at issue was a deliberate choice made by the RCMP not to pursue an investigation
into possible criminal wrongdoing even though numerous examples had been drawn to its
attention of incidents that suggested that an immigration fraud ring was operating within the
very premises of the (diplomatic) mission and possibly involved employees of the government
of Canada," the external review said.
"If that is not a matter of legitimate public concern, very few issues will ever be so."
The ruling is important because it opens the door to allowing RCMP officers to blow the
whistle when they have reasonable grounds to suspect investigations are being wrongly
The RCMP has maintained that it is not appropriate for a police officer to break secrecy.
Read, who is now teaching English to new immigrants in Ottawa, said he did not want to
comment yet on the latest ruling until the RCMPs top brass, which is studying the report,
makes a decision whether to give him back his job.
The origins of the investigations has its roots during the build-up to Britain's 1997 hand-over
of Hong Kong to Communist China, a period when thousands of residents sought to emigrate
to countries such as Canada out of fears that Beijing would rule with an iron hand.
The concerns about corruption at the Canadian High Commission were initially sparked in
1991 when a Hong Kong resident Choi Sim Leung, who currently living in Richmond,
complained that two embassy employees had offered to expedite her visa application for
Later, two local employees, Christina Wong and Constance Ho, along with the wife of a
Canadian embassy official, were seen at a bank depositing large sums of cash.
As the investigation began, fake Canadian immigration visa stamps were found in the desk of
another local employee, Ella Kwan, who is now a Vancouver immigration consultant.
Around the same time, another embassy official Brian McAdam complained to the RCMP that
he suspected that Asian triads had infiltrated the computer system in order to scrub their
names from watch lists.
McAdam also filed reports that a wealthy Hong Kong steel dynasty - the Pongs - were
providing cash for embassy staff to gamble at the Happy Valley race track while others who
were applying to emigrate to Canada were entertaining embassy staff on yachts.
There were also suspicions that a secret contact within the embassy was working with a large
immigration consulting firm based in Taiwan and Hong Kong to fast track applications.
Between 1990 and 1995, the immigration control office of the Canadian High Commission in
Hong Kong wrote more than 30 reports about triad members seeking visas to go to Canada.
One of the reports filed to the Canadian government from Hong Kong was deemed too
controversial because it contained very specific and personal information on a sampling of 16
Triad members trying to or who already had entered Canada.
That report called "Triads Entering Canada" was toned down and the names of the 16 people
removed before it was circulated to the RCMP and other law enforcement agencies in North
Information in the report written by officers stationed at the Canadian High Commission
between 1992 and 1995 was obtained from police files in Hong Kong. The authors wrote: "We
have identified in this a sample of 16 crime figures that are among the world's most ruthless,
vicious criminals who have sought or are seeking admission to Canada, to highlight the threat
that Triad societies, whose members form close knit criminal organizations, many times larger
and more powerful than the Mafia, pose to the security of Canadian society."
"...This is evidence that Triad groups are making efforts to solidly transplant their orgnizations
in Canada before Britain cedes control of Hong Kong to the PRC."
Around the same time, Lawrence Leung, the former immigration chief in Hong Kong was
tracked to a lunch meeting with his wife in the Lan Kwai Fong area as the RCMP began
investigating allegations that he may be an operative of the People's Republic of China and
using his status within the Canadian embassy to facilitate the immigration to Canada of
Chinese agents and Hong Kong residents with organized crime/triad connections.
Leung was never charged with anything and he was eventually granted landed immigrant
status in Canada.
In 1993, his daughter was killed by an arrow fired from a crossbow.
The Burnaby, B.C. case has never been solved.
Prior to that the Canadian High Commission in Hong Kong also refused to cooperate with the
Special Branch of the RHKP, (Royal Hong Kong Police), which had required assistance to
investigate Li Ka Shing's acquisitions in Canada.
His son Victor Li is now eyeing Air Canada.
Rita Fans connections to controversial tycoon Albert Yeung, Carl Chings attempts to come to
Canada and his alleged connections to the Triads and Stanley Ho's casino connections were
all part of the snowballing probe.

In some of the secert police memos obtained by The Asian Pacific Post there are signs that
Canadian officials did not want to pursue the Hong Kong probe.
In one of the memos, a RCMP liaison officer in the former British colony warned Ottawa that
the Canadian High Commissioner in Hong Kong would view any investigation by the RCMP
into the allegations of gift giving by wealthy Chinese families as a 'witch hunt.'
"No cooperation can be expected from the Pong family," wrote RCMP liaison officer, R.G.
Lagimodiere, referring to a wealthy Chinese steel dynasty who had given gambling money to
several Canadian diplomatic staff at their private suite in the Happy Valley race track.
Cautioning that his urgent memo was not an attempt to whitewash or stop the investigation,
Lagimodiere wrote;
"I can guarantee he (the ambassador) will be screaming (at) the highest political levels," the
memo stated.
Another RCMP liaison office letter marked 'secret' and addressed to the Director of Foreign
Services states that in addition to 'an evening at the racetrack' function hosted by the Pong
family, the Pongs also splurged on a 'going' away dinner and dance at the Aberdeen Marina
Club for a number of Immigration officers who were transferred during summer rotations.
"From general discussions with Mission personnel, other events have been hosted over the
years," the memo said.
"In Hong Kong, it is a way of life for the legitimate Hong Kong society and the Triads to
ingratiate themselves with charitable organizations, foreign missions and government
officials." The memo pointed out that Macau casino king Stanley Ho and Hong Kong tycoon
Cheng Yu Tung, both of whom have extensive business and property holdings in Vancouver,
are often guests of the Canadian diplomatic mission.
"These subjects are known to be associated to many documented triads however, one has to
be objectively cautious in that guilt by association is not a crime and in addition, they have
been major Canadian investors."
"It could be argued that these incidents have some potential for embarrassment especially in
light of recent Government policies aimed at stopping 'triad migration'."
The letter ends by stating: "As you can appreciate, many of the points raised could place this
office in a difficult position with other program personnel should the contents of this report
resurface in this (Hong Kong) Mission."
In another case, an immigration consultant with Imperial Consultants was charged by Hong
Kong police for fraud but Ottawa refused to send one of its officers to testify in the case.
Pleading for help to get this case going as a deterrent to stop other similar scams,
exasperated mission officials in a telex to Ottawa wrote: "This is turning into an embarrassing
situation for this office as it was us who asked for RHKPs (Royal Hong Kong Police)
assistance and requested an investigation.
"RHKP are now refusing to continue with their case until we confirm that, we the complainant
will provide evidence.
"Surely if we are serious about receiving assistance in cases involving our missions than so to
are we prepared to cooperate with the investigating agency," read the telex.
Ottawa did not provide an officer and the case against the consultant died.
Ironically, the same consultant would later be photographed in a private meeting with Jean
Chretien while discussing Asian investment into a hotel in the prime minister's riding, be
investigated and charged for attempting to bribe two Canadian Immigration officers with
C$40,000 and looked as key suspects in investor immigration fund scams.
In all the cases against the consultant, the RCMP never got their man.
The whole Hong Kong investigation came to a grinding halt after Corp. Robert Read who was
handling the file felt his superiors were trying to cover-up the issue by not allowing him to
proceed with certain aspects of the investigation.
After he went public in 1999 and was removed from the file, the RCMP did another
investigation with a new set of officers.
This time they again stated that there was no evidence to lay charges but recommended that
action be taken against some 30 Canadian embassy officials for accepting cash and gifts
from wealth Chinese families.
None of the 30 were charged.
Other than minor reprimands many have been promoted within Immigration Canada and the
Department of Foreign Affairs.
At least one of the officials is now an ambassador.
The Hong Kong file which now has come into the spotlight again has sparked calls for the
Canadian government to hold a public inquiry, tough whistleblower legislation and the
reinstatement of Robert Read as a RCMP officer.
Cpl. Robert Reads reward for going public with his concerns was "a pink slip along with
harassment," Gurmant Grewal, Canadian Alliance MP said.
Brian McAdam, the embassy's former immigration control officer, praised Robert Read as a
classic whistleblower, who was "someone doing his job and telling the truth, and that is a
McAdam, whose reports sparked the Hong Kong probe, said investigators lost opportunities
to deal with corruption issues at the mission. "There could have been arrests made, a major
Alliance MP Darrel Stinson called for whistleblower protection while his colleague Kevin
Sorenson said: "This is a very serious allegation of Liberal political interference."
Wayne Easter, Canada's Solicitor-General, denied the RCMP was pressured or there was
any government cover-up. In Parliament, he called for patience while the RCMPs chief
Giuliano Zaccardelli reviews the latest report on the Canadian scandal that was made in Hong
Donna Jacobs Citizen Special
Monday, August 18, 2008
It's 3 a.m. and Brian McAdam is wide awake: No sense for this insomniac to lie in bed, mind
racing along an old and disturbing track.
He brews the first of several strong mugs of Earl Grey tea -- to be followed by black coffees
through the day. And, once again, from his Ottawa home office, he grapples with his own
China Syndrome.
The 1979 box-office thriller The China Syndrome portrayed a U.S. nuclear reactor meltdown
powerful enough to burn through the centre of the Earth to China.
Mr. McAdam did, indeed, have a meltdown -- though rather in reverse.
A seasoned, 30-year career Canadian diplomat, Mr. McAdam's assignments included
London, Copenhagen, Barbados, Amman, Bangkok, Bogota, Dublin, Helsinki, Glasgow,
Tokyo and, twice, Hong Kong.
His second Hong Kong posting, 1989 to 1993, as immigration control officer, included
responsibility for southern China. He was tasked with protecting Canada from international
people-smuggling rings, murderers and drug-smuggling, organized criminals from China,
Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong.
It was his last posting.
He discovered and painstakingly documented in more than 100 separate reports to his
bosses in the Department of External Affairs infiltration and corruption at the Canadian
consulate. And he investigated individual members of the Triads -- China's powerful,
Communist Party-connected organized crime gangs -- to buy visas and smuggle its members
and spies into Canada.
He worked closely with RCMP liaison officer Sgt. Garry Clement to identify Triad hitmen,
violent refugee claimants, drug smugglers, money launderers, collectors on gambling debts
and extortion money and their innocent-looking front companies.
Mr. McAdam says his first three reports paid off: He says he was the catalyst behind the law
that enables Canada to prevent organized criminals from getting into the country, and that
permits others to be deported.
It kept out 5,000 organized criminals, according to Immigration Canada's assessments, he
says. "In addition, I stopped 2,000 illegal immigrants from getting to Canada, saving Canadian
taxpayers at least $25,000 for each refugee claim -- or $50 million" during the busy days
before China took over Hong Kong from the British in 1997.
In his many assignments, he had also trained airport personnel to use ultraviolet lights to
reveal doctored passports and other documents. And, pre-Internet, he set up a highly-
sophisticated electronic system for them to transmit images of questionable specimens.
When Canada's Department of External Affairs staff read his first report, he says, "I was told
people sucked in wind, shocked because they probably recognized some of the names they'd
thought were upstanding Hong Kong businessmen.
"My first report was immediately leaked to media in Hong Kong and to someone in The Globe
and Mail -- most likely leaked by people in the consulate."
The fallout was two-fold.
It made his confidential sources nervous. "I had phenomenal contacts in Hong Kong. I can't
tell you who they were. I was bombarded with information by people wondering what Canada
was doing -- being absolute fools allowing these people into their country."
And he started to get death threats.
"The first time quite shocked me. I was sitting in my office one night on the 24th floor of a
modern office building. The phone rang. I thought it was going to be my wife.
"Instead, the person described what colour tie I was wearing, what colour suit I was wearing.
He could read what was on my desk. He had to have had binoculars or a telescope. I was
hoping the telescope wasn't attached to a gun."
Over the years, he says, "I was constantly intimidated and the more it happened, the more I
knew I was doing the right thing. So I just kept going."
The corrupt courting of immigration officers had started early: "In the first two weeks after I
arrived in Hong Kong, my wife and I were invited to the Happy Valley Race Track by a well-
known businessman. He gave us little red packets. We opened them when we got home;
each one had about $250.
"I was very disturbed by that and told my boss that I was going to return the money."
He was told to keep it, he says, not to offend the giver and gave it to charity.
When the RCMP later investigated, he says, they found at least 30 consular staff receiving
these packets. "I was told it was in cash amounts of $1,000 -- and up -- for a staff member
and for his or her spouse."
How many envelopes and how often?
He laughs: "That's the question -- that was just openers to see who was going to take bait."
The consulate had about 120 staff -- some local and some from Canada's Department of
External Affairs (now Foreign Affairs and International Trade).
"I made it known I was not prepared to accept any money," he says, "and I was very quickly
He and RCMP Sgt. Clement kept writing reports on infiltration and corruption. By the end of
Mr. McAdam's four-year posting, he says, "maybe three or four people among the Canadian
staff would speak to me."
The 32 reports he sent Foreign Affairs in Canada, entitled Triads Entering Canada, "were
received in Ottawa by total silence."
One day, "out of the blue," he says, the External Affairs Department personnel director invited
him to return to Canada to start an organized crime unit.
"I was excited -- it was a continuation of the work I'd done with the Immigration department."
He returned in the summer of 1993, ill with pneumonia, to start up the new job. However, two
days after arriving back to Canada, a longtime colleague paid him a nighttime visit in his hotel.
He carried a warning.
He said Mr. McAdam was "very hated" by Foreign Affairs and Immigration for his work in
exposing corruption. "He said my career was toast."
Shocked, Mr. McAdam went to his office early the next day to see what was going on.
The personnel manager there told him bluntly: "No one wants to work with you." She urged
him to take a retirement package.
"I argued that they should be upset because a number of people were very incompetent and
a number of people were obviously corrupted within the Canadian foreign service."
He says he asked to work for CSIS or the RCMP. She told him it was impossible and
seconded him to Immigration where he worked on the Investment Program, which essentially
sold visas to any business person who invested $150,000 in Canada.
"It was the worst program --so many flaws and so much corruption going on," he says. "I'd
already discovered a lot of Canadian immigration investor programs were being exploited by
members of Triads living in Canada. They made tens of millions of dollars from them.
"Many of Triads gained entry that way because $150,000 is a joke to them," he laughs.
"That's what they give as a tip."
Immigration gave Mr. McAdam another task. One day, he went to see an acquaintance who,
incredulous, informed him that that project had been finished weeks before.
That very day, in October 1993, it struck him like a lightning bolt: "I realized my career was
"I went home that night with an incredible weird feeling in my head. I could actually feel the
chemical change in my brain." The next day he went to the doctor who told him to stop work
immediately and warned him recuperation could take "maybe years."
Mr. McAdam says he knew nothing about depression. He could hardly believe
neurotransmitters could shut down his muscle co-ordination and produce relentless
He harnessed his willpower expecting to heal fast with a crash course of therapy with
psychologists and a psychiatrist -- paying some of the high hourly fees himself.
But it didn't work fast. "The depression had built up over four years. I defy anybody to work in
an environment where your life is being threatened regularly, where you know everybody
you're working with hates you."
One incident, he says, particularly disturbed him.
Among more than six of his reports that were leaked to the Chinese Triads was one about a
major Triad figure who'd visited Canada 20 times.
"One day, my contact in the Hong Kong police department phoned me. He'd intercepted a
phone call from Mr. X (a Triad kingpin) talking to someone in the Immigration Department in
"That person said to Mr. X: 'Don't worry about McAdam and what he's doing. We'll take care
of him'."