British Columbia is currently trying to set the tone for new anti-money laundering measures after the newly-elected government publicized a buried casino report into alleged money laundering at one of its land-based casinos. Earlier this month, Mr. Eby posted a speech on his MLA website under the title: “Housing and trans-national money laundering: an update on what I’ve been doing as AG to address the housing crisis in BC” intended to explain what did he do by far to curb the money laundering practices in Lower Mainland casinos.
Once being aware of the problem, B.C. Attorney General David Eby did not waste any time to address to take actions to resolve it. Last year, he appointed the former deputy commissioner of both the RCMP and Correctional Service Canada Peter German as an independent expert to conduct a review of British Columbia’s anti-money-laundering policies in the gambling industry.
The review will be complete by the end of March this year and Mr. German is to present his recommendations to reform provincial policies and practices. In December last year, Mr. Eby announced Peter German’s first two interim recommendations. Mr. Eby promised to implement tighter anti-money laundering measures in an attempt to eradicate money laundering and terrorism financing. In a speech at a conference in December, the top official announced that the money laundering crackdown will be included in the agenda for the next month’s provincial budget.
Mr. Eby slammed the province’s former government for turning a blind eye to the money laundering problem, even though being aware of it. According to his words, it was more convenient for the previous government to sweep the problem under the carpet. He added that the money-laundering problem has been ballooning over the past several years and it is deep-rooted and much more widespread than expected.
David Eby Shocked by the Size of the Problem
In an interview with National Observer earlier this month, the official explained that it is unreasonable for him that the previous government did not take any actions to troubleshoot the problem. The official elaborated that the recommendations will help the province to establish high standards relating to the province’s anti-money laundering policies. Mr. Eby explained that he is unable to provide further details regarding the case as the investigation is still underway.
He hinted that members of the province’s Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch warned him about the money laundering problem, following his Attorney General Appointment. Mr. Eby explained that the lack of transparency has been a boon to money launderers. The former governing B.C. Liberal Party refused to comment on Eby’s speech.
The report notes that the casino over $13.5m in $20 bills in July 2015. Apart from that, an audit found out that the casino workers overlooked all the warning signs of money laundering. The report claimed that the casino workers were prone to accept the massive wads of cash by Asian customers with deep pockets. The method has become so popular among criminals that it has been given the name “the Vancouver Model”.