Throughout the past more than a year, the conversation regarding money laundering in Canada has gained more speed and more supporters seeking the truth. British Columbia already greenlighted the public meetings on the subject, that would see members of the community offer their useful insights into local money laundering opportunities. Vancouver was the first stop that saw residents make presentations in front of the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering.
This week was a special one as it saw the official beginning of public meetings on the subject of dirty cash and money laundering across the province. The Commission seeks feedback from the people this criminal practice directly affects. Vancouver was the first out of five locations set to welcome the eight lawyers monitoring closely British Columbia’s fields impacted by money laundering.
Vancouver Sees First Public Meeting
British Columbia’s gambling field has been pinpointed in the past as a magnet for Chinese high-rollers ready to wash their cash amassed via criminal operation. River Rock Casino in Richmond is often mentioned as a hub for illegal operation welcoming players with bags filled with CA$20 banknotes ready to gamble.
The Vancouver money laundering model has been implemented across casino locations as a way for criminals to wash money generated by drug sales. It is a cycle involving Mainland China drug cartels sending chemical precursors to Vancouver and Calgary, according to a report by John Langdale of the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University. It revealed a concerning vicious circle prompting a money-laundering inquiry.
The Cullen Commission of Inquiry does not have the power to convict people allegedly involved in the criminal scheme, but they are going to highlight the weak spots in British Columbia’s regulation allowing money laundering to proliferate. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver welcomed locals between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. October 29 brings the second meeting, this time in Kelowna’s Best Western Plus.
Casino Nanaimo Ex-Employee Speaks Up
The Commission would investigate the subject and keep a close eye on money laundering on a provincial level. It should be taken into account hat the office spaces that would host this activity are still being equipped and furnished. During this week’s meeting in Vancouver, Kris Selezinka, a former worker at Casino Nanaimo, shared his personal experience with money laundering.
He pointed out that the illegal practice is making him “embarrassed and ashamed”, as authorities showed a lack of care. The close supervision in every casino makes it impossible for criminal activity to go unnoticed and still, the allegations of money laundering were never investigated. Mr. Selezinka had ten minutes to elaborate on his concerns. Another speaker hailing from Delta said that the commission might learn more on the subject from former British Columbia Lottery Corporation employees.
Some of them were dismissed shortly after reporting suspected money laundering activity in 2014. The non-disclosure agreements they penned have prevented them from revealing more. Joe Schalk, former Senior Director of Investigations for B.C.’s Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch has previously said he was dismissed without an explanation after reporting suspicious activity in B.C. casinos.