Mass floods displace three million in India
At least 130 people have died, and more than three million displaced, as violent monsoon rains stall India.
The Brahmaputra river burst its banks, submerging the north and north-eastern regions of India. Nepal and Bangladesh have been severely affected too.
An Ontario couple has been arrested and charged with laundering money in connection with the Canada Revenue Agency telephone scam. The two, husband and wife, were also involved in other multinational schemes. Their arrests are the result of Project Octavia, a longstanding investigation into the CRA tax telephone scam according to CTV News.
RCMP investigators arrested a 37-year-old man and 36-year-old woman on Wednesday in Brampton, Ont. They believe that there is also a 26-year-old foreign national involved, currently living in India whom they have issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for.
The RCMP said the CRA scam has been going on since 2014. Callers based out of India would call Canadians posing as federal agents and intimidate their victims into paying non-existent outstanding taxes or fines.
“This has led to Canadians becoming wary or suspicious even when CRA is attempting legitimate contact,” RCMP said.
There has been a total of more than $16.8 million in victim losses reported since 2014 in the CRA scam alone. That number jumps up to over $30 million with the inclusion of other scams such as tech support and bank investor scams according to the RCMP.
RCMP Insp. Jim Ogden spoke at a press conference in Milton, Ontario on Friday saying, “We have disrupted the necessary flow of money from Canada to India, which will have a big impact on the operation and the bottom line of the scammers,”
The pair recently arrested in Brampton were likely “money mules” purported Ogden, claiming that the couple laundered the proceeds of these telemarketing scams in Canada and sending it elsewhere.
Project Octavia has led to the takedown of 39 illegal call centres in India as well as arrests in Canada. A public awareness and prevention campaign has helped make Canadians more aware of the scam and RCMP’s efforts have helped to reduce the number of successful scam calls since 2018.
The proof is in the numbers as the total amount of victim losses in 2018 was $6.4 million and within a year that number was down to $1.4 million.
RCMP continue to go after money mule networks in Canada in cooperation with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and RCMP criminal analysts, Canada Border Services Agency, the CRA, provincial police and the RCMP liaison officer in India. Authorities in the U.S. and India continue to aid investigations as well.
Gurinderpreet Dhaliwal, 37, and Inderpreet Dhaliwal, 36, from Brampton have both been charged with one count of fraud over $5,000, one count of laundering of the proceeds of crime, and one count of property obtained by crime.
“We remain steadfast in our pursuit,” Ogden said.
The attempted assassin who was invited to a state dinner at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s infamous India trip was arrested in British Columbia on Monday.
According to True North, Atwal allegedly threatened a former colleague of his from Media Waves Radio, Ashiana Khan, while having dinner with a small group at the Civic Hotel in Surrey, BC.
According to a source, Atwal threatened the group by telling them that he would “finish them all off.” He then threatened to take photos. Atwal then took photos of Khan’s vehicle in the building’s parking facility. Atwal was then arrested and taken into custody by Surrey RCMP.
This isn’t the first arrest for Atwal since Trudeau’s disastrous India trip—a trip in which Atwal was an invited guest to dinners, and was even photographed with Sophie Trudeau.
“His Excellency Nadir Patel, High Commissioner for Canada to India, is pleased to invite Jaspal Atwal to a dinner reception celebrating Canada-India ties on the occasion of the visit of The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada,” read an invitation to the dinner reception.
According to a report by the Toronto Sun, Atwal was arrested in April of 2018, again for allegedly uttering threats. Atwal appeared in Surrey Provincial Court in July, 2019.
Atwal was formerly a member of a Khalistani separatist group, the International Sikh Youth Federation. That group was designated a terrorist entity by the Canadian government.
Atwal’s invitation to the dinner prompted backlash from both Indian media and government, as party officials expressed anger that a convicted terrorist was invited to a state dinner. Backbencher Randeep Sarai eventually claimed responsibility for the invitation, eventually stepping down from his position as Pacific caucus chair.
Alcohol has seeped into the water supply in a town called Chalakudy in India and is flowing from the taps of local houses
There were 18 reports of water with a pungent boozy smell to it on Monday according to Manorama News. The 18 homes in the neighbourhood were all using water out of the same well.
The owner of the apartment complex, Joshy Maliyekkal, mentioned noticing the alcohol smell while turning on a motor to add water to his outdoor water tank.
“All of a sudden, the pipe started to smell very bad,” Maliyekkal told the New Indian Express. “We were suspicious as to why such a smell was coming from the water drawn from an open well.”
He also noted that the well has been used by locals for years without any problems.
After investigating the situation, authorities found that the well was being contaminated by a pit used to dump illegal alcohol after it was confiscated from a bar about six years ago. The pit had been filled with approximately 6,000 litres of alcohol.
A local ward councillor named V.G. Joji told the New Indian Express, “The inspection proved the presence of alcohol in the water, and hence we called the excise officials and informed them of the matter.”
Deputy commissioner, T.K. Sanu said, “We will lend all support to the families affected.”
According to Sanu, disposing of alcohol in a pit is a normal procedure but the people responsible for this one did not take enough steps to ensure that they were not harming the environment or the people in the surrounding area. It is estimated that 2,000 bottles were poured into the pit.
A complaint has been filed to the municipal secretary and health department by residents. The bar responsible for the alcohol has said that they can provide water for the residents until the issue is fixed.
An exclusive report from Global News revealed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had planned to do a public yoga session with Indian Prime Minister Nahendra Modi and other prominent officials during his now-infamous trip to India.
Trudeau’s trip to India was marred by what seemed to be endless photo-ops of him in costume. New documents unearthed By Global reveal that one more photo-op had been planned that never came to fruition.
Indian Prime Minister Nahendra Modi, Trudeau and his wife Sophie, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and some Bollywood celebrities were scheduled to do a public yoga session.
It was to be an hour-long yoga session at dawn, with television cameras and press to boot, that would take place at Humayan’s Tomb in Delhi. The tomb is from the 16th century and is one of India’s most important cultural treasures.
Referred to as the “Yoga Summit”, it was cancelled just before Trudeau left Canada, however.
Prime Minister Nahendra Modi, an avid yoga enthusiast wanted to do the yoga session in an attempt to improve Canada-India relations, according to the detailed to page note prepared for Trudeau. Modi begins his day with a one-hour session.
“Promoting yoga globally has been a soft power priority for Prime Minister Modi,” bureaucrats wrote in a briefing note for Trudeau.
A copy of the briefing was included in the 300-page briefing book given to Freeland so she could prepare to accompany Trudeau on the trip. The briefing book was eventually granted to Global News nearly two years after it had been requested, however much of it had been redacted by bureaucrats.
The United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 the annual International Day of Yoga which was under the guidance of Modi back in 2015
It was believed that the morning yoga session involving the two prime ministers would be useful as an event to “demonstrate people-to-people ties through sports” and “deepen [the] relationship with Prime Minister Modi through sharing his personal love for yoga and supporting India’s yoga cultural diplomacy.”