A man wanted by United States authorities donated more than $5,500 to Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, theBreaker.news has learned.
Bakshish Sidhu is listed on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency website as wanted in California for conspiracy to launder money, with his last known address in Surrey, B.C.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.
Sidhu operates the Basant Forex currency exchange and Basant Productions film and concert promotion agency.
Sidhu appeared on Sher-e-Punjab Radio on April 9, claiming it was a case of mistaken identity. The radio station’s website carried a photo of Sidhu with the Prime Minister.
A story in the Vancouver Sun on April 16 quoted Sidhu’s lawyer, Deepak Chodha, who said Sidhu only learned of the charge a week ago, but his client is an “honourable man.”
“Mr. Sidhu will face whatever music he has to face and will deal with it,” Chodha told reporter Kim Bolan.
Sidhu’s LinkedIn and Instagram pages are offline. A 2018 profile by Ansal Media Group Inc.’s Entertainment Magazine has also disappeared. The feature said Sidhu is involved in philanthropy and politics in Surrey and his native Zira, Punjab.
A Department of Justice news release issued in October 2015 in Los Angeles named a Bakshish Sidhu of India among seven fugitives listed in an indictment related to the arrest of Canadian Gurkaran Singh Isshpunani in September 2015 at a Buffalo, N.Y. border crossing.
The U.S. alleged Isshpunani led an international money laundering ring affiliated with Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. The U.S. indictment from November 2014 alleged Sidhu was involved in the March 2012 transfer of $522,000.
Elections Canada’s database shows eight donations by Bakshish Singh Sidhu from December 2017 to October 2019 — three to Liberal Party of Canada headquarters, two to the Surrey-Newton Liberal association, two to the Cloverdale-Langley City Liberal association and one to the Surrey-Centre Liberal association.
Elections Canada lists all of the donations by Sidhu from the same Surrey postal code as his Basant Productions.
Sidhu’s name is also on the attendance list for an Oct. 9, 2019 Liberal fundraiser at Northview Golf and Country Club with incumbent MP John Aldag and Bill Blair, the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction.
Trudeau promoted Blair to Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness after the 2019 election. Aldag lost to Conservative Tamara Jansen.
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