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True Crime Organized Crime

Wilful Blindness

How a Criminal network of narcos, tycoons and CCP agents infiltrated the West

by (author) Sam Cooper

foreword by Charles Burton

introduction by Teng Biao

consultant editor Terry Glavin

Optimum Publishing International
Initial publish date
May 2021
Organized Crime, Intelligence & Espionage, Espionage
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price
  • Digital (on physical carrier)

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

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Now on the Globe and Mail, CBC, and Amazon Best Seller Lists

#1 for 14 weeks Organized Crime, True Crime, Government Relations

If you want to understand war in the 21rst century. Read this to get part of the story"

Robert Spalding, US Brigadier General(retired)

“This book reads like a thriller and is stranger than fiction. Gripping, racy and exciting, it is difficult to put down. A tale of gambling, narcotics, tycoons, criminal gangs and Communists. And the shocking part is that it’s not a novel, it is all true.

Benedict Rogers, CEO Hong Kong Watch

"This is a must-read book for concerned citizens who want to keep their democratic societies free."

Solomon Yue, Vice-Chair and CEO of the Republicans Overseas Committee

In 1982 three of the most powerful men in Asia met in Hong Kong. They would decide how Hong Kong would be handed over to the People’s Republic of China and how Chinese business tycoons Henry Fok and Li Ka-Shing would help Deng Xiaoping realize the Chinese Communist Party’s domestic and global ambitions. That meeting would not only change Vancouver but the world. Billions of dollars in Chinese investment would soon reach the shores of North America’s Pacific coast. B.C. government casinos became a tool for global criminals to import deadly narcotics into Canada and launder billions of drug cash into Vancouver real estate.

And it didn't happen by accident.

A cast of accomplices - governments hungry for revenue, casino, and real estate companies with ties to shady offshore wealth, professional facilitators including lawyers and bankers, an aimless RCMP that gave organized crime room to grow - all combined to cause this tragedy. There was greed, folly, corruption, conspiracy, and wilful blindness.

Decades of bad policy allowed drug cartels, first and foremost the Big Circle Boys - powerful transnational narco-kingpins with ties to corrupt Chinese officials, real estate tycoons, and industrialists - to gain influence over significant portions of Canada’s economy. Many looked the other way while B.C.'s primary industry, real estate, ballooned with dirty cash. But the unintended social consequences are now clear: a fentanyl overdose crisis raging in major cities throughout North America and life spans falling for the first time in modern Canada, and a runaway housing market that has devastated middle-class income earners.

This story isn’t just about real estate and fentanyl overdoses, though. Sam Cooper has uncovered evidence that shows the primary actors in so-called “Vancouver Model” money laundering have effectively made Canada’s west coast a headquarters for corporate and industrial espionage by the CCP. And these ruthless entrepreneurs have used Vancouver and Canada to export their criminal model to other countries around the world including Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Cooper finds that the RCMP’s 2019 arrest of its top intelligence official, Cameron Ortis, raises many frightening questions. Could Chinese transnational criminals and state actors targeting Canada’s industrial and technological crown jewels have gained protection from the Mounties? Could China and Iran have insight into Canada's deepest national security secrets and influence on investigations? According to the evidence Cooper has found, Ortis had oversight of many investigations into transnational money laundering networks and insight into sensitive probes of suspects seeking to undermine Canada’s democracy and infiltrate the United States. Wilful Blindness is a powerful narrative that follows the investigators who refused to go along with institutionalized negligence and corruption that enabled the Vancouver Model, with Cooper drawing on extensive interviews with the whistle-blowers; thousands of pages of government and court documents obtained through legal applications; and large caches of confidential material available exclusively to Cooper.

The book culminates with a shocking revelation showing how deeply Canada has been compromised, and what needs to happen, to get the nation back on track with its “Five Eyes” allies.

“I’m astonished that some Hollywood production company hasn't already signed him for a big-screen treatment of this story. It's a huge story.” - Terry Glavin, National Post


About the authors

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sam Cooper is an award-winning Canadian journalist, cited as one of Canada’s top investigative reporters. Cooper started with a North Vancouver newspaper in 2006, and moved up to the Vancouver Province in 2009, where he started to investigate political corruption and real estate money laundering in Vancouver. Cooper broke the B.C. casino money laundering and “E-Pirate” story in 2017 at the Vancouver Sun and has now filed more than 50 exclusive stories on the widening scandal. Since winning the Jack Webster Award for student journalist at Langara College in 2005, he has won several prizes, including a Canada National Newspaper Award and a Jack Webster Award, for his reporting with the Vancouver Province on abuse of seniors in B.C. care homes. Most recently, Cooper and his Global News reporting team won the Jack Webster 2019 Excellence in Feature/Enterprise reporting – Television for their submission: Casino Diaries

Cooper holds an HBA from the University of Toronto, a Journalism degree from Langara College, and has completed several narrative writing training programs facilitated by his employers.


Sam Cooper's profile page

Dr, Charles Burton, Foreword

Senior Fellow, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Centre for Advancing Canada’s Interests Abroad and Non-Resident Senior Fellow, European Values Center for Security Policy. Department of Political Science at Brock University specializing in Comparative Politics, Government and Politics of China, Canada-China Relations and Human Rights, 1989-2020. Counsellor at the Canadian Embassy to China between 1991-1993 and 1998-2000. Previously worked at the Communications Security Establishment of the Canadian Department of National Defence.

PhD 1987 from the University of Toronto after studies at Cambridge University (Oriental Studies) and Fudan University (History of Ancient Chinese Thought Program, Department of Philosophy, class of '77). Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Post-Doctoral Scholar in Political Science at University of Alberta, 1986-88.

He has published extensively on Chinese and North Korean affairs and Canada-China relations and has been commissioned to write reports on matters relating to Canada's relations with China for agencies of the Government of Canada. Charles is a frequent commentator on Chinese affairs in newspapers, radio and TV.


Charles Burton's profile page

Dr. Teng Biao is an academic lawyer, formerly a lecturer at the China University of Politics and Law, currently a visiting scholar at US-Asia Law Institute, New York University and now at the University of Chicago. His research includes human rights, social movement and political transition in China. Teng defended for freedom of expression, religious freedom, Tibetans and Uyghurs. He co-founded two human rights NGOs in Beijing – the Open Constitution Initiative, and the China Against the Death Penalty, in 2003 and 2010 respectively. He is one of the earliest promoters of the Rights Defense Movement in China, and the manifesto Charter 08, for which Dr. Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


Teng Biao's profile page

Terry Glavin is a well–known author and winner of the Lieutenant–Governor's Award for Literature in 2009. He is the author of many books, several of which have been finalists for the Governor–General's Award and the BC Book Prizes. The Last Great Sea won the Hubert Evans Non–Fiction Prize. His books include A Death Feast in Dimlahamid (1990), Nemiah: The Unconquered Country (1992), A Ghost in the Water (1994), This Ragged Place (1996), The Last Great Sea (2000), and Waiting For The Macaws (2006).

Victoria–based freelance writer Ben Parfitt is the author of Forestopia: A Practical Guide to the New Forest Economy (1994) and Forest Follies: Adventures and Misadventures In the Great Canadian Forest (1998)

Terry Glavin's profile page

Editorial Reviews

New Book Dives Into Canadian Real Estate, Gangs, Laundering, And Corrupt Officials

The most important book on Canadian real estate you’ll read this year isn’t about demographics or interest rates. It’s investigative journalist Sam Cooper’s new book, Wilful Blindness: How A Network of Narcos, Tycoons and CCP Agents Infiltrated The West.

The controversial best-seller outlines how business tycoons and China set out for a power grab 40 years ago. The quiet cities of Toronto and Vancouver played important strategic roles. What followed was a flood of narcos, corrupt officials, and hockey bags of money. The issue has been occurring in Vancouver for decades, but it only recently became visible. This transition from a place with a discreet underbelly to Gangster’s Paradise happened after the discovery of Canada’s weakness — real estate.

It turns out tax-free capital gains were more than ideal for money laundering. Since Canada was so dependent on real estate, most officials ignored warning signs. In fact, they actually cheered on the laundering. They even gave local buyers access to greater credit to compete. Over in rural Ontario, buyers now play bidding wars just like they do in big city Vancouver. Adorable, right?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of takeaways from this book — for all parts of the economy. Let’s talk about three key takeaways, relating specifically to real estate markets. Opportunity, Or A Well Organized Plan? Cooper’s book is primarily about the global ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). More.....



Sam Cooper's Wilful Blindness exposes not only how the Chinese Communist Party uses UFW to infiltrate and subvert Canadian free society but also how Canadian CCP apologists are aiding and abetting the infiltration and subversion for money by becoming wilful China threat deniers and race-baiters.

This is a must-read book for concerned citizens who want to keep their democratic societies free.

Vice Chairman and CEO, Repulicans Overseas and National committee of the Republican Party of Oregon

Sam’s vigorous journalism on tracking and exposing money laundering has been crucial in the national push to reform and update Canada’s laws. This book pulls his work, and indeed the work of many professionals, into one explosive narrative. Canadian lore often pitches our country as a well-meaning good partner in the world. But as Sam’s report has shown, we are a node in global systems of corruption and crime, with the infiltration and implications only becoming worse over time.

The global money laundering and corruption detailed in this book undermines Canada’s own democracy and safety, while we act as a meeting and banking hub for criminals and states to continue to repress some of the most vulnerable people around the world. And it is not only through wilful blindness that Canada has found itself in this position. Sam shows that as the money rolls in, there are enablers in Canadian intuitions that are willing to roll out the carpet for these illicit funds, horrendous impacts be damned. Hopefully, Sam’s book will wake up Ottawa into realizing that global corruption systems are one of the biggest threats the world faces, perpetuating inequality, conflict, human rights violation, and environmental degradation. And we need to act accordingly.

James Cohen, President



“This book reads like a thriller and is stranger than fiction. Gripping, racy and exciting, it is difficult to put down. A tale of gambling, narcotics, tycoons, criminal gangs and Communists. And the shocking part is that it’s not a novel, it is all true.

?Based on meticulous research, this aptly titled book exposes the naivety and corruption at the heart of western democracies which for too long have kowtowed to the Chinese Communist Party regime and their crime syndicates and as a result put the free world in jeopardy. This book is a wake-up call and a must-read.

Benedict Rogers, co-founder and Chief Executive of Hong Kong Watch



"This is a must-read book for concerned citizens who want to keep their democratic societies free."

Vice-Chair and CEO of the Republicans Overseas Committee

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