Industry Reports

Ex IIGET Chief’s Controversial Money Laundering Stance Stirs the Pot Once Again

This Friday will be a special day for British Columbia, as preliminary hearings in regards to money laundering allegations. The Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering would greenlight the hearings with a controversial ex-official. Fred Pinnock, former Head of British Columbia’s Integrated Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team, is going to share his position on alleged money laundering enabling when it comes to regional casino venues.

British Columbians have been eagerly anticipating the official launch of an inquiry into money laundering, as it has the potential to shed more light on the controversial subject and possibly reveal never before seen information. Mr. Pinnock succeeded in stirring the pot last summer with his controversial public speech in regard to money laundering.

Preliminary Hearing on Friday

Back in July 2018, he said the BC Liberal Party was actually well aware of what was going on in local casinos but did not take any measures to crack down on the problem as they did not want to stop the money flow. He used to oversee operation of the British Columbia Integrated Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team between 2005 and 2008, refraining from public appearances after that.

What triggered his statement was the first report on money laundering devised by former RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter German called Dirty Money. As he reported later, the Liberal Government quickly scolded those accusations, but apparently this was not the first time this pattern was shown. Mr. Pinnock said that he had information regarding RCMP censorship of a senior member speaking out against the Government.

It could be recalled that the British Columbia Government made a decision to eliminate the Integrated Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team in 2009, essentially rendering the province without close supervision. Rich Coleman occupied the position of the minister of gambling in British Columbia at the time. The last days of September saw 16 regional organizations and individuals receive green light for participation in the inquiry.

Controversial Accusations Projected

Some of the organizations were British Columbia Lottery Corporation, as well as Canadian Gaming Association, whereas Ross Alderson, BCLC’s former Director of Anti-Money Laundering and Fred Pinnock were among the individuals receiving an approval to join the inquiry. The latter was determined to give British Columbians the information they deserved to know, eventually triggering the public inquiry conversation.

The Dirty Money report, focusing on money laundering tendencies across the province, revealed that casino venues were used as laundromats for dirty cash, but the issue was also spreading into other local fields, such as the real estate market and the luxury vehicles one. This report also pointed out that killing the Integrated Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team resulted in an increased loan sharks operation.

In addition to that, without the gaming unit, British Columbia Lottery Corporation and the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch had to monitor and eliminate criminal activity. This Friday will also see British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Jim Lightbody and Vice-President Brad Desmarais make a case in the preliminary hearings part of the long-anticipated inquiry.