Gambling problems beleaguering Brampton East MP Raj Grewal may be far from over, despite admissions made last week. Last Nov. 29, MP Grewal came out with a statement expressing his intention to resign as MP in order to undergo treatment for his gambling addiction. His statement gave a brief account of when and how his addiction to gambling started. He asserted that although he resorted to borrowing money as a result of his affliction, they were not obtained thru illegal means. According to Grewal, loans were secured from family and friends who had no idea that they were for gambling purposes.
Apparently, the controversy involving the Brampton East MP will not die down easily. Word has spread around that as early as May of this year, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was already conducting inquiries regarding MP Grewal’s transactions and activities in connection with potential money laundering queries. According to Prime Minister Trudeau,
his office was already aware that the RCMP has been asking questions about Trudeau’s India trip. At that time, the Prime Minister and his office were of the notion that it had something to do with the Ethics investigation initiated by 2 Opposition MPs, regarding Grewal’s conduct as a public official.
It was only after MP Grewal publicly admitted his gambling problem last week that the Prime Minister became aware that a deeper probe is connected to the ethics issues. A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office also maintained that they were not aware that the Peel Regional Police and the Ontario Provincial Police were conducting separate investigations.
However, both police services declined to comment since they can only confirm such matters if actual charges have been filed.
Probes Linked to MP Grewal’s Gambling Problems
A source claiming to have knowledge of the developments surrounding MP Grewal’s controversy disclosed to The Canadian Press that the RCMP probe, was indeed related to Grewal’s gambling activities. Apparently, reports linking MP Grewal’s unusually large financial transactions to fund his casino gambling cropped up as part of investigations regarding potential money laundering. The source who requested not to be identified said
that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) became aware of Grewal’s huge debts in connection with their investigation of “persons of interest.”
According to the source, the OPP was looking into the activities of à group of “particularly shady guys” who may be involved in sending laundered money to an extremist group in the Middle East. The source further disclosed that through wiretaps aiding investigations on organised crime and terrorism, MP Grewal’s gambling debts became known.
Brief Background on Ethical Complaints Filed vs. MP Grewal
Sometime in May 2018, and after carefully considering documents and information collected, the Federal Ethics Commission began its inquiry on the conduct of Liberal MP Raj Grewal.
The actions were taken in response to two separate requests for investigation. One was filed by NDP MP Charlie Angus, while the other was submitted by Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie. Both requests sought investigations on Liberal MP Raj Grewal’s purported breach of
the Conflict of Interest Code.
The conflict of interest referred to was related to the Canadian Prime Minister’s trip to India, to which Grewal accordingly helped his business associate gain access to an assembly of senior government officials. It came about that Raj Grewal invited Yusuf Yenilmez, CEO of ZGemi, Inc, to receptions attended by PM Trudeau and other high ranking officials. The
conflict of interest issue is that Raj Grewal is also gainfully employed as a lawyer of ZGemi, Inc, a construction company.
The crux of the matter is that Yemilnez is seeking to grow his construction business in India. He maintained that even without Grewal’s invite, the Canada-India Business Council would have approved of his registration to participate as part of its delegation. Still, the Ethics Committee learned from the office of the Prime Minister that MP Grewal had indeed a hand
in inviting the CEO of the construction company.