STEWART BELL REVEALS RCMP FINDING THAT WORLD TAMIL MOVEMENT SENT 3 MILLION TO TAMIL TIGERS
By Walter Jayawardhana
The World Tamil Movement officials, who at one time wined and dined
with Canadas powerful Liberal Party politicians sent three million
Canadian Dollars to the terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE), Stewart Bell reported.
Quoting court documents marked secret but now released
for publication Bell said in his National Post that the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police has alleged that most of the money has
been sent through the Bhumiputra Bank in Kulalumpur in Malaysia to bank
roll LTTE activities.
Bell said in his report the World Tamil Movement, according to this
police document, was only a vehicle to transfer money to the terrorist
A Toronto non-profit group wired more than $3-million to overseas
bank accounts, some of them linked to the Tamil Tigers, before it was
shut down by the government in June for alleged terrorist financing,
says an RCMP report released yesterday.
The report, marked "Secret" but unsealed by order of
a Federal Court judge, provides the first detailed look at the banking
activities of the World Tamil Movement (WTM), a Toronto-based group
accused of bankrolling Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers guerrillas.
Most of the money, $1.9-million, went to an account at the Bumiputra
Commerce Bank in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that the RCMP report says "is
utilized as a vehicle to forward money to the LTTE [Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam] from Canada."
The 83-page financial report is the fruit of two years of analysis
of banking records seized by Canadian anti-terrorism police who are
investigating a financial network run by supporters of the Tamil Tigers
that allegedly raised money in Canada to buy arms for the guerrillas.
"The bank records seized ... demonstrate that the World Tamil
Movement has developed an elaborate machine like entity that moves throughout
the Greater Toronto Area collecting funds with extreme proficiency,"
the police report says.
Stockwell Day, the Public Safety Minister, announced on June
16 that his government had added the WTM to Ottawa's official list of
terrorist groups, alongside the likes of Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah.
The WTM is the first Canadian community group to be listed.
The WTM has denied any involvement in terrorist fundraising and
vowed to challenge the government's decision, and at a large outdoor
rally in Toronto on July 5, Tamils waved Tamil Tigers flags and endorsed
a statement condemning Ottawa's decision to ban the WTM.
The Minister has accused the WTM of transferring money to LTTE
bank accounts in Sri Lanka, but the RCMP's Feb. 1, 2008, financial report
paints a more detailed picture of a complex network made up of 20 Canadian
Five banks held the accounts: Toronto Dominion, Bank of Nova
Scotia, Royal Bank, CIBC and the National Bank of Canada. The Canadian
account holders wired money regularly to accounts in Malaysia, Singapore,
the United Kingdom and Tamil Tigers-controlled areas of Sri Lanka.
RCMP Corporal Deanna Hill, the author of the police report, wrote
that the WTM's financial set-up was "congruent with the money laundering
techniques often employed by organized crime groups.
The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for 25 years for an independent
homeland for Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority, which has faced discrimination
under the island's Sinhalese majority.
The RCMP began investigating the Tamil Tigers' Canadian fundraising
network in 2002, focusing on the WTM's large head office in Toronto
and its smaller branch offices in Montreal and Vancouver. Police raided
the Toronto and Montreal offices in 2006.
Police seized letters from the Tamil Tigers leadership thanking
Canada for its donations, explaining how the money had been used to
purchase weapons, and asking for more. But much of the police evidence
appears to have come from a study of bank accounts held by the WTM and
The WTM took in up to $763,000 a year using the payment scheme.
On a single day in 2005, the WTM withdrew $63,528 from 1,582 bank accounts.
"It is obvious from the amounts collected with this method that
the pre-authorized payment scheme is effective, timely and spares valued
resources," says the RCMP report.
Most of the forms had been signed in Canada but police also interviewed
witnesses who said they had signed them at Tamil Tigers checkpoints
in Sri Lanka. "Upon their return to Canada, these persons were
visited by representatives of the World Tamil Movement to exact the
collection of the monthly stipend," Cpl. Hill wrote.
In addition, the WTM made money through bake sales, car washes,
newspaper sales, merchandise sales and festivals, the report says. "To
date, the total amount of Canadian dollars that have been forwarded
to accounts internationally from accounts controlled by the World Tamil
Movement in Canada is $3,101,803.33."
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