Bill Blair, federal Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction dedicated this Tuesday to a meeting with British Columbia Attorney-General David Eby and the topic of discussion was no other than money-laundering allegations within sectors of the province. Focusing on working towards improvement of the situation in the light of recent events, the Minister stated that he would make sure there is an improvement in the way information flows between governments and law enforcement agencies in Canada.
Money-laundering is among the hot topics across British Columbia ever since scandalous revelations sparked the conversation. Allegations claim that casino venues such as River Rock Casino in Richmond have been used by Chinese high-rollers for washing copious amounts of dirty cash. With the help of third-party, large sums of money were being exchanged for gambling chips at the venue, often times reaching up to CA$200,000. Later on, criminals were simply collecting the cash value of the chips without any gambling taking place.
Intelligence Flow Should Improve
Recent information issued by the federal Ministry of Finance highlighted that some CA$1 billion might have been laundered in this manner. However, upon further consideration, the overall amount might reach CA$2 billion, when adding previously issued information around the E-Pirate probe. Attorney-General David Eby expressed his utter discontent with the fact that the federal government has been aware of the issue’s real magnitude, but never notified British Columbia about it.
Addressing this issue, Mr. Blair met with Mr. Eby in order to discuss the issue at hand and come up with a plan for action that would benefit the community in the long run and prevent criminal activity of this scale from taking place. This meeting took place at a crucial point when the province is going through an extensive review of its regulations and anti-money-laundering practices. Both the gambling and the real-estate sectors within British Columbia provided favorable conditions for the thriving of this illegal practice.
Mr. Blair is well-acquainted with the ongoing issue and the fact that for many years Canada has experience money-laundering on many levels. However, now it is time for a change and federal and provincial governments will have to work on their work in synchronicity. By improving communication and intelligence flow, major issues such as the washing of billions of Canadian dollars could be easily prevented.
Public Inquiry Discussed Once Again
What should be taken into account is that at the moment the province is thoroughly investigating the subject and proactively working on its goals. Such a review has the potential to have a notable impact on the final decision made by the federal government this year. This could mean work in collaboration in order to achieve a better understanding of the situation and how future occurrences of this nature could be prevented.
October 21 is an important date for all Canadians, as it is going to bring the 43rd Canadian federal elections. Mr. Eby pointed out that there are concerns about this campaign and its potential to prevent the federal government from giving its full attention to the money-laundering crisis in British Columbia.
He also expressed his opinion on the allegation that a public inquiry might be on its way, stating that it is a possible approach to the situation. Upcoming weeks would see development on the subject catching more and more eyes.