Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vancouver Sun takes extensive look at BC Container Port links to criminal organizations

Container Ship at one of
Vancouver's terminals
The Vancouver Sun recently completed a look at a side of life on the waterfront that few probably think of, as award winning reporter Kim Bolan explored the impact that a number of criminal groups are having on the Vancouver waterfront.

A week long review of events and incidents that remind one of the HBO program The Wire and the season two focus on the waterfront and the reach of criminal organizations.

The Sun series goes back over twenty years, with Bolan accessing court documents, government reports and police files and explored the reach of some of the criminal organizations and how they have penetrated into the four terminals serviced through the Vancouver gateway.

While the majority of the focus of the report looks at Vancouver, Prince Rupert gains  a mention owing to its growing presence in the marine shipping world.

With some concerns expressed that Prince Rupert may become a port of entry for what are called precursor chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, as criminal groups look to direct some shipments north in order to avoid increased enforcement efforts in Vancouver.

It was back in 2012 that the CBSA outlined the scope of a seizure of such chemicals that had been found coming through the Port of Prince Rupert.

There are differences in place however, between the operations of the ports in Vancouver and the one in Prince Rupert. The main aspect being that the Rupert gateway features a more seamless transit between ship and rail, with less reliance on truck movements as those down south, a key ingredient for the most part when it comes to the criminal activity of the south.

Still, as traffic increases through Prince Rupert, so too one imagines will be the prospect of increased interest from those who may believe it offers an opportunity for their activities.

The Sun series makes for a thorough investigation into one of the few down sides of increased trade through Canada's ports and what efforts will be required to not only keep a watch on the current situation, but the need to put forward programs that will increase the enforcement of laws at all of British Columbia's ports of call.

The full series can be reviewed below, including a pair of video presentations related to the topic.

Drug Pipeline: How crime groups infiltrate and exploit Metro Vancouver's docks (1)
Smuggler's messages reveal drugs easily pass through Vancouver port (2)
Longshoreman by day, smuggler by night (3)
When a Hells Angel nominates another Hells Angel (4)

The art of the CBSA inspection

Organized Crime at Port Metro Vancouver Part Two (video)
Organized Crime at Port Metro Vancouver Part One (video)

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