Will Canada Help Curb Haitian Corruption?

Many Haitians fear for their safety and that of their family as their country slips into anarchic violence after the assassination of their president. But not Haitian Senator Rony Célestin and his family

Courtesy of the Canadian government, they are ensconced in the mansion pictured above. Located in the toniest of tony areas in Quebec, the couple recently settled on it for some $4 million.

 What did the Canadian government have to do with Célestin’s acquisition of the mansion? Everything. Célestin is a high-ranking official of a foreign country.  Any Canadian real estate agent or bank he contacted about buying the mansion was obliged by Canadian law to ask a simple question: How does a public official of one of the world’s poorest countries amass enough to buy such a luxurious home?  

If the July 11 New York Times story on the Senator and the mansion is correct, an inquiry would quickly have raised suspicions that the money did not come from a legitimate source. That in turn would have further obliged the real estate agent or banker to alert Canadian authorities.

Reports by the Financial Action Task Force and Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering have repeatedly warned Canadian officials that controls on money laundering in the real estate sector were toothless, that for years corrupt foreign officials have been hiding their money in Canada through the purchase of pricey real estate.  Indeed, in their latest, joint report, issued in 2016, the two flagged the rise of “criminally-inclined real estate professionals, notably real estate lawyers” to cater to the money laundering needs of criminals of all kind.

Is it too much to ask Canadian authorities to stop looking the other way when corrupt officials come to their country to shop for real estate?  Perhaps the picture of the Senator’s mansion juxtaposed with anyone of the thousands of Haiti’s poor might prompt action?  Canadian civil society, where are you?

5 thoughts on “Will Canada Help Curb Haitian Corruption?

    • Great. Thanks. Now get the authorities to investigate the lawyers, real estate agents, and other facilitators of the purchase. And if the Times story holds true, how about seizing the mansion, selling it off, and using the proceeds to help Haiti?

      • LOL, if the authorities are anything like ours down here, they are mostly the same as the other parties mentioned above.

        It’s called Capture and common in both “developing” and “five eyes” nations.

        In the case of my beloved Perú, there is a hope of fixing things. One of the neighbours managed quite well and another is on the way.

        The issue for me is simple, and I don’t apologise for simplicity, and it resides in the absence of social inhibitions against self-improvement (if I can conceal it like that). The Individualist World, almost axiomatically, works best without having socialising constraints.

        No amount or intelligence of legislation can fix this on its own.

        “You’re Welcome!”

  1. “Canadian civil society, where are you?”

    Hmmm. Busy trying to ignore the questions being asked of Unmarked (First Nations Children’s) Graves, maybe. Last time I looked, 1323 from 8 institutions (out of 139 institutions in total…)
    Uninformed, I used to think Canada was a Country of Example.

    I’ll leave the detail to those who know her better. Maybe ask some of her “Red Indians”.

    Sad.

    What I personally look for is a wholesale change of heart and opinion from my brothers in that nation, such that First Nations people no longer feel like an abused and denigrated minority in what used to be their land.

    In case any readers think this is off topic, please think again, think about how YOU view the Native American and how YOU support their lives as human beings.

    Some fresh, healthy water seems to be top of the shopping list.

  2. Canadian media calls out the government for its lackadaisical approach to money laundering.

    Headline: Money laundering is pervasive, but little is done about it: experts”

    Subhead: “Canada is such an appealing money-laundering destination that there is a coined term to refer to illegal money laundered here: snow-washing.”

    Bonus feature: Picture of TI-Canada Executive Director James Cohen

    Matthew Lapierre, Ottawa Citizen, July 26, https://kyc360.riskscreen.com/news/money-laundering-is-pervasive-in-canada-but-little-is-done-about-it/?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Daily+News+Feed&utm_campaign=KYC360+Daily+News+Mailer

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