B.C. government waited 9 years to heed recommendations to reject drug cash in casinos, inquiry hears

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According to the RCMP, since at least 2009, several high officials in British Columbia were repeatedly warned of a massive increase in “bulk cash” flooding into BC Lottery Corporation casinos that “undoubtedly have their origins in the drug trade”.

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At the same time, in connection with the explosion of casino money laundering, the world’s three most powerful international crime networks – the Mexican and Colombian cartels, the Chinese Triads and Middle Eastern gangs – were taking over BC’s underground economy and creating “phenomenal gangs”. Were. Violence.”

Italian organized crime and outlaw biker gangs were also high-level players, as were an increase in gun violence and opioid overdose deaths on Canada’s west coast.

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According to the RCMP, Vancouver had become “a center for the importation of illegal and dangerous substances, including fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine.”

Meanwhile, over and over again, in memos, emails, face-to-face meetings, and even hasty conversations, relevant investigators from BC’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, the RCMP, and BC Lottery Corp., collected $20 from BC officials. urged to reject a torrent of. Bills entering casinos in bags in typical transactions of hundreds of thousands, and in the hands of high-end baccarat speculators coming from “middle men” and “loan sharks” and even a BC politician – “The vast majority … China from the Mainland.”

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The gamblers were paying for bags of suspected drug cash, which they used to buy casino chips with electronic fund transfers in China and Canada, according to a 2011 RCMP report, implying that “loan sharks” not only Criminals were profiting from interest on loans, but also successfully laundering criminal funds in international banks.

But this sophisticated, professional money laundering scheme continued “unbridled” in 2011 according to the RCMP, before Mountis struck the triads at the center of the crime model in October 2015, with a series of raids and arrests in Richmond, B.C.

In October 2015, in response to the RCMP investigation, the government of BC finally ordered the BC Lottery Corp., through the power of a ministerial letter, to determine the source of every suspicious pile of cash that entered the casino. But the corporation didn’t really heed this mandate until 2018, when former RCMP executive Peter German made the recommendation again, in his dirty money report good.

These are the surprising set of facts and claims argued by lawyers for Canada’s federal and BC’s provincial government in the closing arguments of the province’s money laundering investigation.

Participants in the Cullen Commission, mandated to investigate whether inaction or corruption have enabled money laundering to take root at BC Casinos and Real Estate, began making their final submissions on Friday. After all participants are finished on Tuesday, Commissioner Austin Cullen will have months to consider his findings of the facts and recommendations.

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On Friday, lawyers for BC and Canada made mostly technical arguments about jurisdiction issues and regulatory mandates. And while lawyers for both governments agreed that money laundering is a major concern in B.C., the provincial government argued that it has led to significant regulatory reforms in the casino sector and hoped that the integration of regulators into real estate and dirty money into property investments. will help fight.

Canada also argued that it has reformed its anti-money-laundering regime in recent years, and advised the commissioner that a provincial investigation has limited its mandate, and that for constitutional reasons, they should be subject to federal policing and money-laundering. Opinion should not be given about anti-laundering. Systems can be improved.

In an interview with Granthshala News, former RCMP federal investigator Calvin Christie, one of Canada’s key witnesses on the infiltration of international gangs in B.C., said that after overseeing the hearings and reviewing closing submissions from provincial and federal attorneys, he Worried the Commission has lost its way.

He added that while it has focused on gaming and real estate issues, “the real issue is about Canada having a soft underbelly for international organized crime and national security threats because of the need for updated legal reform.” Reasons for failure at the federal and provincial levels.”

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Christie said she believes the commission should result in “the creation of a separate federal police agency that is free from the regional politics of provincial police interests and the cooperation of all agencies and our international partners.”

“The existing legal system and government structures will continue to dissuade Canadian police and security agencies from cooperating with our international partners, and we will continue to see fentanyl deaths, corruption, public shootings, dirty money and the erosion of our democratic system.” “Unless we view this issue as a Granthshala phenomenon and require immediate legal reform, versus the continuation of the blame game and strategic budget grabbing exercise by bureaucrats,” Christie said.

The federal government said evidence suggests that the most powerful international gangs are profiting from money laundering, which increases the damage caused by human trafficking, arms smuggling, violent gang crime, as well as the opioid crisis that has caused damage to communities across the country. has delivered.

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In particular, the high-level Triad network that is the subject of the commission is “located in BC and Ontario and represents a number of major service providers nationally and internationally,” the federal government submitted, “and complex through their Known to conduct money laundering operations, casinos, underground banking systems, illegal gaming houses, nominee/shell companies, trade-based money laundering and exploitation of real estate investments.

The federal government stated that contrary to the arguments of others in the investigation, starting in 2010, the RCMP had explicitly warned BC Lottery Corp managers that organized crime was using the Vancouver casinos on a large scale in money laundering, and that the casinos were not Bulk cash should be discontinued.

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