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True Crime Organized Crime

Wilful Blindness

How a Criminal network of narcos, tycoons and Chinese Communist Party agents infiltrated the West

by (author) Sam Cooper

foreword by Charles Burton

introduction by Teng Biao

Optimum Publishing International
Initial publish date
Aug 2022
Organized Crime, Security (National & International), Intelligence & 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
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2022
    List Price

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Since the first edition of Wilful Blindness Sam Cooper has led the way on exposing Hybrid War operations in Canada and by extension to the US and the rest of the world.

Cooper's sources for his material and insights go well beyond studying RCMP and CSIS leaked documents and reports.5 Eyes has been very aware of the nexus between organized crime and Canada's political and business elite since the 80's. According to the author of the Sidewinder Report (in the book), Michel Juneau-Katsuya, every single Prime Minister, from Brian Mulroney to Justin Trudeau has been influenced or compromised through the CCP's sophisticated network of criminals, tycoons and secret agents.


What Cooper tells Canadians is that this is all very real and real beyond your imagination. What is at stake is the democracy and country you call home.


"I learned the book was having an impact in Beijing. I was contacted by Canadian intelligence and informed that Chinese espionage assets in Canada had been tasked with collecting information on me. Beijing wanted to know how the public was reacting to my book and whether it could damage the Chinese Communist Party. It was shocking to hear this, but I wasn’t surprised that the United Front Work Department’s thin-skinned apparatchiks felt threatened by my granular reporting on their operations in Vancouver. I had named names and cited documents. I had even developed sources within local Chinese espionage networks.


And I had drawn links between senior CCP official Bin Zhang, Markham

underground casino suspect Wei Wei, and a Chinese front company that

donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s

family foundation. It can’t be overstated how significant this reporting was. I

showed how this espionage operation extended to elite criminal suspects and

their United Front comrades in Vancouver, including the flag-waving leaders

of rallies against Hong Kong Canadians. This in turn was all connected to

Triad suspects with deep ties to illegal casinos, violent loan-sharking networks,

Chinese police forces and military, and the Vancouver Model of money laundering

and economic infiltration.

And I continued to dig. After my book came out, I learned that the key

fundraiser and Chinese community organizer for Justin Trudeau in Toronto

was flagged in Fintrac suspicious transaction reports. The documents said this

Markham man had, in just a few months, routed millions of dollars of wire

transfers from Hong Kong for Chinese corruption suspects accused of big-time

real estate money laundering in Canada. He was also tight with a top-tier CSIS.....



This newly updated book provides readers with insights into Cooper's revelations about Han Dong, an MSS agent who is now an independent Member of Parliament. But you read the headlines and now you need to understand the inner workings of how and why this is happening.

New revelations demonstrate that China is collaborating with Russia and Iranian agents to undermine the very democracy we hold dear. Politicians and business elite, including former Ambassador to Canada Dominic Barton, facilitated and helped the criminal enterprises get a secure hold in the West.

Cooper has exposed the close ties between Chinese nationals who are dedicated to Beijing and have BOUGHT influence with all political parties in Canada. It's about time that former PM's cut their lucrative arrangements with the PRC and Cooper makes a compelling case as to how money through these networks has undermined our political process and policy engagement with the Peoples's Republic of China.


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.

James Cohen, President of Transparency International Canada

"A Gripping read that you won't want to put down"

Benedict Rogers, 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, Republicans Overseas

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

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.....


“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


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

Robert Spalding, US Brigadier General(retired)

Former US Brigadier General

" Sam Cooper is probably the most well informed and researched journalist in Canada on the topic of Chinese organised crime and spying activities. His work has always been supported by solid journalistic research and rigorous work. What he shared with us in this book should be mandatory reading for all elected officials from municipal, provincial or federal government.

Not to read it would be irresponsible as political or business leaders."

Michel Juneau-Katsuya Author, National Security Specialist and Former Chief of Asia/Pacific, CSIS.

Former Chief of Asia/Pacific

“An exclusive news report dominated the headlines in Canada in recent weeks: Canadian intelligence had warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about a vast campaign of political interference by China. Not surprisingly, the report’s author was Sam Cooper … His best-selling 2021 book, “Wilful Blindness: How a Network of Narcos, Tycoons and CCP Agents Infiltrated the West,” examines violent international gangs involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and, most alarmingly, Chinese espionage and influence activity in Canada.”

Sebastian Rotella


"Explosive revelations that expose our government's complicity with the Chinese Communist Party in undermining Canada's national security and democracy."

Dr. Charles Burton Senior Fellow, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Centre for Advancing Canada’s Interests Abroad Non-Resident Senior Fellow, European Values Center for Security Policy.

Senior Fellow

"In Wilful Blindness, Sam Cooper has shown what security officials have been hesitant to share with Canadians until recently; that Canada is a haven for nefarious national security and transnational organized crime networks and our democracy is at risk".

Calvin Chrustie - The Critical Risk Team - Risk and Security Consultant Senior Ops Officer for Transnational Organized Crime, RCMP (retired)

Calvin Chrustie