Yesterday, on the dance floor of 'Studio 54' in downtown Vancouver, the Crown finally started to explain how an RCMP drug investigation orginally dubbed 'Project Everywhichway' veered off towards BC RailGate.
Allegedly, it was due to the family connections of the co-accused Mr. David Basi. According to Mr. T. , Bill Tieleman, Mark Hume of the Globe is one of the few local scribes that has been in Court just about every single day so far. Here is Mr. Hume's most recent take on the Disco Dance Sensation that is starting to rock the LINO* Nation:
Mr. Basi emerged as an early person of interest in a drug investigation that was triggered when informants told the RCMP that the arrest, in May, 2002, of U.S. drug dealer Cirilo Lopez had created an opening for a new drug boss on Vancouver Island.
"The word on the street was that Jas Bains was going to be the person taking over," (Crown prosecuctor) Ms. (Janet) Winteringham said.
Mr. Bains is Mr. Basi's cousin.
That drug investigation identified Ravinder Singh Dosanjh, who was then a Victoria police constable, and Mandeep Singh Sandhu as other persons of interest. Both are related to Mr. Basi.
While tapping the phones of Mr. Dosanjh and Mr. Bains, the police intercepted calls to Mr. Basi, and soon formed a suspicion that he was being used to launder money, Ms. Winteringham said.
The police drug operation later spun off several investigations, and soon, the RCMP's Vancouver Island drug team and commercial crime units were developing different theories about what was happening.
Some investigators, she said, thought that Mr. Basi's boss, Mr. Collins, was a suspect in a scenario related to the alleged leaking of confidential government information about the pending sale of BC Rail.
But other investigators argued Mr. Collins wasn't a suspect, she said, and the defence contention that he was dropped because police didn't want to implicate any politicians was incorrect.
"Different investigators had different views as to whether Mr. Collins was under investigation," she said.
RCMP Inspector Kevin DeBruyckere, a lead investigator, "held the view that Mr. Collins was under investigation and he wanted to interview him immediately," she said.
All of which is bizarre enough, as far as it goes.
But Mr. Hume also reports on another aspect of this bump-and-grind that few others have mentioned.
And that is the fact that different RCMP teams were apparently fighting over the case:
Separate RCMP teams pursuing parallel drug and breach-of-trust investigations became so intensely competitive that a mediator had to be called in to keep them both on track, a Crown attorney in a political-corruption case told the Supreme Court of British Columbia yesterday.
No word yet if any Orangutans and/or Clint Eastwood-type look-a-likes have shown up on any of the surveillance tapes - although given the way things are going every which way we wouldn't be entirely surprised if they did.
*LINO: Liberal In Name Only.
Mr. T. also filled us in another aspect of this thing, which was the fact that when they went a searchin' the RCMP allegedly found all sorts of secret bids and cabinet documents relating to the BC Rail deal both at Mr. Basi's office and that LINO-Lovin' Lobbshop called Pilothouse. Hmmmmm.....maybe now were startin' to get a bit of an indication why it was so easy for them to turn Spiderman so fast.