A news report about soon-to-be ex-MP Raj Grewal sat on the House of Commons finance committee of the House earlier and asked the RCMP and other law-enforcement agencies about techniques used in the fight against money laundering. Apparently, Mr. Grewal was particularly interested in the role of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), which collects data on transactions of more than $10,000 at financial institutions and casinos.
In September, MP Grewal was removed from the finance committee and moved to the health committee and now questions are being raised if this was the result of the RCMP investigation into his gambling activities.
Liberal MP Raj Grewal’s name appeared on law enforcement radars after his name came up on police wiretaps in a much broader probe into other people suspected of money laundering and terrorist financing, says a source with knowledge of the events.
At this point there are more questions than answers and the case gets murkier with each passing week.
Grewal, who assumed office on October 19, 2015, announced his resignation via Facebook last week citing “personal and medical” reasons. The gambling issue had not surfaced at that time.
Reacting discreetly to the embarrassing situation arising out of the Liberal Party MP’s resignation, the Prime Minister’s Office in a communiqué said it had come to know that Raj was getting treatment from a “health professional related to a gambling problem. Based on the circumstances, we have agreed that his decision to resign as an MP was the right one. We hope he receives the support he needs”.
Grewal has decided to seek treatment for a gambling addiction, which had thrown him “neck-deep” in personal debt, sources revealed.
Sources in Brampton and Ottawa said Grewal and his wife had allegedly got “burdened” with heavy debt and mortgage, particularly after buying a $1.3-million luxury apartment in downtown Toronto. They had also reportedly taken out a $1.5-million mortgage against the plush property.
The Peel Regional Police was investigating Grewal’s gambling side even as the PMO has indicated that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had made certain inquiries in connection with the subject of a complaint against Grewal which was being probed by the Federal Ethics Commissioner.
But there were speculations that perhaps there were even bigger issues facing Raj Grewal and gambling was just one of the less serious issue.
It may be recalled that the federal ethics watchdog had opened a formal investigation into Liberal MP Raj Grewal after he invited an employer to attend receptions in India during the prime minister’s trip in February. His employer was Yusuf Yenilmez, the CEO of a Greater Toronto Area construction company, Zgemi Inc. who paid him for legal advice.
Had the Brampton East seat become vacant a few months ago, former MPP for Brampton East NDP leader Jagmeet Singh would perhaps have run in the safest riding ever where he would’ve coasted to victory. Instead he finds himself in a precarious situation as he struggles to find his footing in Burnaby South. -CINEWS