Fast 'concerned' after blacklisted businessman allowed into Canada

International Trade Minister Ed Fast - File photo
International Trade Minister Ed Fast
— image credit: File photo

Abbotsford MP Ed Fast says he is “disappointed and concerned” that a Burmese businessman banned from the United States was allowed into Canada as part of an Asian trade delegation he hosted.

Fast, Canada’s international trade minister, said he had invited his government counterparts from several growing Asian nations to visit Canada for a travelling “road show” meant to deepen trade ties.

Burma’s group turned out to include Steven Law, a businessman whose deceased father was a heroin kingpin. The U.S. Treasury department said in 2008 that Law had joined his father’s drug empire and become one of Burma’s wealthiest people.

A 2012 release called Law, with whom Americans are banned from doing business, a “crony” of the former dictatorship.

“For some reason, this particular individual slipped through the cracks,” said Fast.

“We don’t know why that happened. It concerns us.”

Fast said the procedure for vetting such individuals, saying they are the purview of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Law entered Canada using his Chinese name, Lo Ping Zhong. A Google search for that name, and other aliases, quickly turns up a bulletin from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Fast said the trade missions from Burma and other Asian countries have visited Canada as part of his government’s effort to expand business ties with the rapidly growing region.

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