Tamil group assets forfeited in Canada

By Christine Duhaime | January 21st, 2011

The assets of two Tamil groups with alleged ties to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were ordered forfeited to the federal government of Canada by the Federal Court of Canada because the assets were owned or controlled by a terrorist group. The two groups, World Tamil Movement of Ontario and World Tamil Movement of Québec, were apparently closely aligned with the LTTE and allegedly raised funds to assist the terrorist operations of the LTTE in Sri Lanka. The LTTE and the World Tamil Movement are  both designated terrorist organizations (i.e. listed entities) in several countries, including Canada, and therefore may not legally raise money or procure equipment or materials in Canada. Every person in Canada is prohibited from dealing with property owned or controlled by any terrorist group, such as the LTTE, or engaging in other types of terrorist financing.

According to the RCMP, the World Tamil Movement operated a pre-authorized payment program in Canada that withdrew monthly sums from the bank accounts of Sri Lankan foreign nationals in Canada. The operation raised more than $700,000 annually. Some participants interviewed by police said they were coerced or pressured to fund the activities of the World Tamil Movement. In a similar story last week, the government of Switzerland arrested ten suspected members of the LTTE for allegedly forcing Sri Lankan foreign nationals in Switzerland to provide financial support for the LTTE. They were charged with extortion and money laundering.

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