The money-laundering crisis in British Columbia has been a topic of nationwide discussion that goes so far as to attract the attention of the US. Many of the discoveries emerging throughout the recent months have shocked the public and officials such as British Columbia Attorney-General David Eby, but experts in the field recently chimed in saying that people acquainted with the status quo have been aware of the insufficient RCMP efforts.
The true scope of money laundering and the extent it reaches has always been a concerning thought for British Columbians and Canadians as a whole. A recently issued US report listed the country among large money laundering hubs worldwide pointing out the very reason for such criminal activity are the lax regulations and inefficient field monitoring. Chinese casino patrons are attracted to the region as an excellent location for washing their illegal drug trafficking proceeds.
Insufficient Funding Complicates the Process
Even though the real scale of dirty cash laundered through British Columbia casino venues could reach billions of Canadian dollars, it is still a figure hard to pinpoint. Soon after a part of former Mountie Peter German’s second money laundering report was issued, B.C. Attorney-General David Eby expressed his surprise with the fact that RCMP officers are currently unable to focus on investigating money laundering in the province.
Individuals well-acquainted with the issue such as current and former federal and municipal police officers and people previously involved in casino probes were not surprised by the information unearthed. They pointed out that the government has been aware of this inefficient operation for quite some time and no action has been taken. The issue stems from the fact the funding is limited and the resources are sparse.
As a result, local judicature is unable to tackle money laundering issues and the criminals responsible for the schemes. They even pointed out that the cases might have been purposefully avoided in the long run, since they call for time and efforts. Statistics Canada managed to sum up the situation by issuing the information that between 2000 and 2016 the country saw more than 320 money laundering verdicts.
Second Money Laundering Report Issued Soon
Joe Schalk, a former B.C. Gambling Enforcement Branch Director of Investigations and RCMP officer was among the people aware that not much is being done to stop money laundering. Together with Larry Vander Graaf, Executive Director of GPEB, they worked on a 2013 report on the cash washing involving British Columbia casino venues.
This report might have cost them their careers since in 2014 they were both dismissed without a reasonable explanation. Mr. Schalk stated that insufficient funding is what had caused the issue in the first place and this involves police officers looking into subjects to the likes of illegal drug trafficking, commercial crime, and proceeds of crime.
As the partly disclosed second Peter German report revealed, at the moment RCMP officers in British Columbia support the civil forfeiture operation instead of probing money laundering allegations. One of the clear indications of the dysfunctional system was the crash and burn of the E-Pirate case in December 2018. It was headed to court this year where all allegations had to be reviewed.
At a later point, it as revealed that the identities of some individuals were disclosed among other pieces of evidence. Gilles Michaud, Deputy Commissioner of RCMP Federal Policing, pointed out that individuals in the Federal Serious and Organized Crime are working on investigating money laundering allegations, but the very process of RCMP operation needs improvement.