Tamil 'front' alleged to have funnelled cash
Published: Friday, September 21, 2007
Three separate police investigations continue across Canada into whether the terrorist Tamil Tigers have been illegally raising funds here to help their bloody independence campaign in Sri Lanka.
If charges are laid in any of the three cases, there may finally be a Canadian prosecution related to terrorist financing.
In the last two years, investigators in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto have raided offices of the World Tamil Movement, a group the RCMP alleges is a financing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Police suspect the World Tamil Movement misappropriated tsunami relief funds and gave the money to Tamil Tiger terrorists like these on parade in rebel-held territory.
The Vancouver office of the WTM was raided in November 2005 after the RCMP's Integrated National Security Enforcement Team received intelligence that the WTM was selling propaganda to finance the Tigers.
The office, located at 4592-A Fraser Street in Vancouver, opened in September 2004.
Seven suspects were named in the information to obtain a search warrant, but none has yet been charged.
The search warrant alleges the WTM misappropriated $75,000 in tsunami relief donations to the rebel cause.
“Front organizations were established for the purpose of raising funds, coordinating community activities and administering the funds that would later be forwarded to the LTTE,” the warrant information says. “In Canada, the WTM is an LTTE front organization.”
In Montreal, 63 suspects have been identified in court related to an ongoing investigation of the Tigers and the WTM there, though again charges are yet to be laid.
Last June, a Quebec judge granted police another year to go over documents and other evidence seized during an April 2006 raid at the WTM office in Montreal.
And in Toronto, police seized computer discs when they raided the WTM office, also in April 2006, which show the movement of money from Canada to bank accounts in Sri Lanka.
The Tamils were added to the list of banned terrorist organizations in Canada in April 2006.