Vancouver’s Hastings Racecourse recently saw a raid conducted by the Canada Border Services Agency and the provincial Gambling Policy and Enforcement Branch that saw the arrest of 26 Mexican workers at the backstretch.
British Columbia Attorney-General David Eby recently stated that a whistleblower drew the attention towards foreign workers licensing and a possible fraud taking place. Information flow is crucial when it comes to problematic situations and illegal harmful practices.
Whistleblowers are the individuals that have observed the illegal practice and could help the elimination of controversial activities and authority abuse. Such is the case with the Gambling Policy and Enforcement Branch that has been involved in a foreign workers scandal over the past couple of weeks.
David Eby Reveals there Is a Whistleblower
This week saw more details being revealed around the unexpected arrests taking place at Hastings Racecourse. People were curious as to what led to the raid and who triggered an investigation in the first place.
As Attorney-General Eby disclosed, October 2018 saw a whistleblower contact his office with essential information that had the potential to change many employees’ lives. The ultimate goal of this was better regulation across the field and more efficient monitoring at Gambling Policy and Enforcement Branch.
The whistleblower had come to the conclusion that there are people working without permits and there is something fishy at Hastings Racecourse. Soon after that, a probe launched seeking more information proving the words of this British Columbian.
At the time of the probe, employees hired by horse owners were identified as working without a permit. In addition to that, the investigation also revealed issues with the way GPEB conducted its operation, including license issuing. One of the inspectors had to be suspended while the probe was in progress.
While it was in progress, Canada Border Services Agency also joined, eventually taking over the investigation. The final tally of last week’s arrests amounts to seven individuals working with forged licensing without even knowing about that.
Could Money Laundering Be a Thing?
The allegations have been linked to a particular inspector that had been working at the Hastings Racecourse GPEB office, but for now, their identity remains undisclosed. Mr. Eby made it clear that he has been eyeing foreign workers employment at Hastings Racecourse ever since 2017, when he raised awareness of a possible problematic behavior involving migrants in search of temporary employment as grooms.
They are ready to explore the opportunity and cross North America, as many of them are Mexican residents. Upon the arrests, some of them were disappointed to be sent back to their homelands. As it often happens when it comes to British Columbia, money laundering concerns were also voiced.
Mr. Eby stated that the investigation is still in progress but it also seeks for indications of money laundering in the horse racing field. It could be recalled that former RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter German did not come across corruption in the horse racing field while he was working on his two money laundering reports. More details are projected to be revealed as the probe continues.