The Vancouver Sun has an interesting story here about an immigration case in the Federal Court of Canada involving alleged money laundering of a politically exposed person (“PEP”) with ties to the leader of a Mexican political party called the National Action Party.
Sergio Antonio Reyes Garcia, a Mexican national, arrived in Vancouver on March 3, 2019, and was denied re-entry to Canada. The CBSA alleges that he made a misrepresentation on his application to visit Canada by making a false statement.
The CBSA alleges moreover, that Reyes Garcia was affiliated with a company registered in Vancouver that was used to launder millions of dollars to banks in Switzerland.
The company, Kross Investments Ltd., is allegedly tied to another Mexican foreign national who appears to be in Vancouver, named Manuel Barreiro Castañeda.
Cellular communications between the two men appear to connect them to a money laundering investigation in Mexico and Kross Investments Ltd. in British Columbia, and contain evidence of financial transactions involving money sent from Mexico through the BC corporate entity’s bank account to a Swiss bank. Allegedly, over $2 million was moved.
Reyes Garcia appears to have confirmed that Barreiro is his business partner, and said that when he first came to Vancouver in 2018, Barreiro was living in Vancouver and they shared an apartment. Barreiro is apparently listed in the corporate records of Kross Investments Ltd. This article says he entered into a plea agreement with Mexico in respect of an investigation and that he has corporate entities not only in Canada but also in Gibraltar, a well-known tax haven. Barreiro is also a PEP.
The CBSA alleges that Reyes Garcia is the subject of a complaint in Mexico that involves alleged laundering money.
Money from Mexico would have been flagged through the financial system and stopped, hence the gamble from an anti-money laundering perspective, of going through banks in Vancouver.
Reyes Garcia’s defence is that he did not commit a misrepresentation on his application to enter Canada and did not launder funds through Canada from Mexico.
This article from Mexico dated February 2018, says that Barreiro “fled to Canada” and a Juan Carlos Reyes Garcia (different first two names but could be the same person) is mentioned with him in a complaint filed by the government of Mexico in connection with the alleged use of fake companies in Canada by Barreiro, which have a connection to real estate acquired for an innovation park in Mexico tied to the former presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya Cortés. A case against the presidential candidate over alleged money laundering was dropped.