“Vancouver Secrets” portrays educated, articulate and driven women living in an age of Me To and Times Up movements. As individuals, they long ago gave up the concept of marriage and family, forgoing caring for a man incapable of managing his own life.
Most have a deep-rooted dislike of men; Jessica’s stemming from her mother sharing the atrocity of the 1989 massacre of fourteen women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique and the fact that men left the women to die. Those who choose to date, do so with skepticism, having been jaded by the many evil men they have incarcerated. In the process, the “J” Team women’s careers flourish while encountering, overcoming and in many instances destroying workplace harassment, misogyny and sexual assault using martial arts defensive tactics.
Vancouver Secrets embraces mystery, suspense, love, sex and martial arts through Rebecca, Elisabeth, Jessica, Elise, Penelope, Kimberly and Karen who share their journey in overcoming adversity.
The agents enjoy fine dining and shopping at boutiques in British Columbia and Southern California while uncovering a billion-dollar money laundering industry.
The women encourage readers; to leave abusive relationships, to change their environment and to accomplish their goals and dreams.
Along with their male law enforcement partners, the agents’ goal is for readers to find encouragement, support and motivation through Vancouver Secrets and the “J” Team Series.
Forty-seven billion dollars.
“It is difficult to figure out how much money is being laundered. Money laundering is a big problem globally and can have a huge effect on local economies,” Patrice Poiteven, former RCMP anti corruption investigator.
British Columbia has been the epicenter for such transactions for years, resulting in the purchase of multi-million-dollar properties in Vancouver, high end vehicles and insurance policies with the proceeds of crime; most often currency from drug sales.
Purchasing high-end vehicles; Bugatti La Voiture Noire, twelve million, Lamborghini Veneno, five million, Mercedes-Maybach Exelero, eight million and Rolls-Royce Sweptail, thirteen million with bags of currency was not uncommon. The criminals would later sell the vehicles and their illicit cash would be laundered.
A Vancouver based RCMP investigation, E-Pirate Inquiry, involved forty officers, a budget of millions over several years, which resulted in a solid prospect of conviction. Regrettably, the case was dismissed in the fall of 2019 when the required disclosure documentation was sent to the defense team along with information regarding the informants. The RCMP and prosecutors could not take the chance of the suspects identifying those who shared their criminal secrets, confidential informants, and dropped the charges.
It seems inconceivable today, but there was a track record. Numerous casinos saw suspects exchanging millions for chips, playing briefly, then cashing out for a casino check.
Crime proceeds cleaned in less than an hour.
By the end of 2019, the impending legislation had reduced casino cash flow considerably, so much so that politicians pointed to the previous government, accusing them of allowing the criminal activity to flourish, not wanting to lose the casino tax revenue.
Today, realtors, investors, insurance companies and car dealers will not conduct a transaction in cash over ten thousand dollars and are required to inform law enforcement of any suspicious cash transactions.
Nationally, the 2019 election left the country with a minority/coalition government which does not have money laundering as a high priority.
“Our government’s message is simple; criminals, domestic and foreign, should not be able to hide their illegal money in Canada. Our government is committed to detect, stop and prosecute money laundering.” June 2019 (edited for space)
Bill Morneau Canada’s Minister of Finance
“As a police officer for four decades, I have seen the harmful effects of money laundering. Our 2019 budget made significant investments in the RCMP. FINRAC, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre, and CRA, Canada Revenue Agency to meet evolving threats.” June 2019 (edited for space)
Bill Blair, Canada’s Minister of Organized Crime Reduction
Such was not the case. The E-Pirate Inquiry was short-handed during much of their investigation and the unit has since been disbanded.
“Our weak anti-money-laundering laws protect money launderers from detection and prosecution.”
Octopoda was the most vicious drug cartel in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, if not in all of Canada. Their objective, and primary business plan was to control the lower mainland from Vancouver to Hope and all of Vancouver Island. Their secondary objective was the entire province. They were achievement was through intimidation and assassination, as noted by the numerous killings in Surrey and surrounding communities where aspiring gangs had the audacity to challenge Octopoda.
So fervent were they to maintain their territories and consume those of competitive gangs, they had attempted to steal three thousand kilos of Colombian cocaine smuggled into Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, then on to Mission, just east of Vancouver.
Octopoda sent six assassins to the distribution location, a poultry grower facility in rural Mission. Thinking they could take the Alberta drug interlopers by surprise; they were not prepared for the assault by the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team, ERT. https://www.jonathanmccormick.com/jm_book/barkley-sound-secrets/
All six were killed in the shoot-out, almost a billion dollars in cocaine was confiscated, Albertan Stan Loblinski was convicted of drug trafficking as was his lieutenant, Brian Sawyer, brought back to Canada from Costa Rica for the operation.
The British Columbia drug cartel had lost members and currency before and took the mishap as the cost of doing business and moved on, but this was different.
The Octopoda was not greedy, having learned early on in their entrepreneurship, that financial gluttony would quickly terminate their business and their lives.
Their primary concern was how the Albertan was able to mastermind the shipment of a billion dollars, street value, in Colombian cocaine. They knew all the cartels in western Canada and Loblinski never popped on their radar.
Was he a loner or did he have an operation which could make another attempt at their lower mainland territory? They needed that information to shore up their defenses. The shooters would be difficult to replace and without a strong enforcement barricade the cartel could be in for a bloody and costly turf war.
Presumably Loblinski wouldn’t give up the information voluntarily and they had nothing with which to bargain. Using violence in a prison would be an irresponsible move. Octopoda needed his information. A face to face. But with all prison communications monitored and mail screened, they were left with one choice.
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
Watch for “Vancouver Secrets” to debut February 2021