Industry Reports

British Columbia Money Laundering Public Inquiry Calls Become Louder

Money-laundering concerns across casino venues in British Columbia, as well as the real estate and luxury cars sectors, have been swirling around for many months now. Public Inquiry might be the approach needed that could bring more information on the subject and Adam Olsen, BC Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, joined other British Columbia officials supporting the idea.

This also triggered Attorney-General David Eby’s response revealing more allegations. It is not a secret that Mr. Eby is interested in the development of the money-laundering allegations and reports that unearth baffling figures and details. More and more people express their support to previously discussed public inquiry approach to the situation that would give people the voice they need and the chance to help with their pieces of information. The end of this month is expected to bring to life two reports reaching further.

Adam Olsen Claims Public Inquiry Is Needed

Question Period provides officials with the perfect opportunity to ask burning questions and receive the answers they have been looking for directly from the source. Mr. Olsen confronted Mr. Eby with a money-laundering question, the answer to which revealed more. British Columbia Attorney-General hinted at the scale of the issue when he mentioned the PacNet case that involves lottery scams across the US.

According to the allegations Mr. Eby gave as an example then, cheques with thousands of American dollars have been sent to Vancouver for processing. Advantage BC was supposedly providing the criminal organization with tax credits, even though the Obama administration had earmarked it as conducting financial crimes. More often than not they involved elder people tricked into thinking they had won the lottery.

These revelations are what prompted the call for a public inquiry that is expected to move forward the ongoing investigation and aid future reports issued on the subject. The beginning of February saw the province attract experts from Quebec to the likes of Simon Tremblay, once Assistant Chief Deputy for the Charbonneau Commission, that could help the province in its public inquiry plans.

British Columbia Casino Venues Integrity Threatened

However, the reference to Quebec’s issues that led to the eventual extensive probe and public inquiry made Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart uncomfortable, as he was concerned this would send the wrong message to the government. Instead, he suggested that the focus should be on the entire province and nod solely on Vancouver. In a recent poll taking into account the opinion of many British Columbians, some 76 percent of them support the approach and want to participate in such.

Information sharing could improve the field, as recently became clear when a whistleblower reported that there are 17 bins in a Surrey parking lot with sensitive information that should have been destroyed by a company called ShredWise. In one of them, there were thousands of Grand Villa Casino Cards that should have also been destroyed in compliance with existing BCLC regulations.

Attorney-General Eby stated that this jeopardized casino gaming integrity, as it allowed people a cheating opportunity. He pointed out that the province should think for better protection of whistleblowers that could encourage more people to say something when they see injustice or rule breaking. At the moment there are protections for government employees, but not for Crown Corporations staff.