CBC: How Institutional Infighting Allowed Money Laundering to Flourish at B.C. Casinos

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Published on:
Jun/28/2018

British Columbia AG David Eby Claims officials turned a 'blind eye' to money laundering for years 'despite mounting evidence'.  Much of that money laundering occurred in casinos.

“Vancouver is a hub for Chinese-based organized crime,” the report, titled Dirty Money, claims.

“A complex network of criminal alliances has coalesced with underground banks at its centre. Money is laundered from Vancouver into and out of China and to other locations, including Mexico and Colombia,” the report’s author, Peter German found.

But the institutional players were often too busy fighting each other to properly focus on a common enemy, writes Jason Proctor of CBC News.

Which, as German points out in one notable 2016 case, left the "frustrated" head of compliance for Richmond's River Rock casino to issue a directive, himself, telling employees to stop accepting huge amounts of unsourced cash.

Liberal gaming minister Rich Coleman in 2011 had rejected Insp. Barry Baxter contention that video evidence showed  stacks of $20 dollar bills being delivered to casino cash cages and large gambling buy-ins from women describing themselves as “house wives”.

The officer was cautioned by the RCMP and "his remarks would be the last public comment by an RCMP officer on any matter related to B.C. casinos for a number of years."

On Twitter, the matter definitely became politically toxic.

New Democratic Caucus tweeted:

The totality of German's report served to shred whatever credibility the Liberals had remaining on the issues of gambling and organized crime.

They added:

Eby added salt to the wound by pointing out that much of those criminal proceeds went into the real estate sector, driving up the prices of homes and contributing to the affordability crisis, as well as the opioid overdose epidemic.

The Lottery corporation also appeared to turn a blind eye, according to Proctor:

German's report says the executive director "all but stopped dealing" with BCLC in the year that followed as the lottery corporation argued "the bundling of small denomination bills was not necessarily an indicator that money was the proceeds of crime, as there could be other explanations."

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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