The true extent of money laundering and organized crime in British Columbia is yet to be revealed as it recently turned out. A report the RCMP worked on in January 2009 revealed that an individual with connections to the organized crime network of Asia was given permission to become a stakeholder of an undisclosed casino. Later on, they became an employee of the same casino operator.
When conducting work in the casino industry and obtaining a license for operation, the casino operator is obliged to take into account all existing regulations and trigger background checks on owners, staff members, as well as any individuals related to the future operation of the casino location. Denis Meunier, former Deputy Director of Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada expressed his surprise.
Asian Organized Crime Links
Mr. Meunier made it clear that the mandatory step of background check might have been purposefully skipped and this is a breach of the regulations in effect. He added that such misconduct of the due diligence should not be overlooked, as it shows the weak areas of British Columbia’s regulations. There is a loophole that has enabled this to take place.
The report in question has not identified the individual who had become a stakeholder in the casino and later on an employee within its structure. Shedding more light on the underground world of British Columbia has been among the goals of this report, airing some of the provincial dirty laundry. Criminals have targeted British Columbia Lottery Corporation overseeing the gaming locations within the province, as the report suggested.
Integrated Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team should be able to keep a close eye on any suspicious operation taking place within the province, but while the stakeholder was purchasing his way into the casino, the unit was facing illegal casinos sprinkled across the province. All funding comes from the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. Soon after that, in 2009, the unit saw the end of its existence.
BCLC Financed IIGET
Former Crown prosecutor Sandy Garossino expressed surprise by the methodical manner of this disbanding, which had steered the pot in the past and ever since. It raises more questions than answers. Back in 2018, Fred Pinnock, the former chief of IIGET shared that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the former Liberal government did nothing to tackle illegal money laundering schemes despite the warnings.
He claimed that the authorities in question all knew that organized criminal activity was run in the province’s casinos and racetracks. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police report of the beginning of 2009 claims that the integrity of the British Columbia gaming field is questionable following the aforementioned discoveries. In relation to these pieces of information, former British Columbia solicitor general Rich Coleman stated that the IIGET was rendered unable to do its job.
The end of 2019 brought the news that the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch would become the Independent Gambling Control Office with the help of an amendment to the existing Gaming Control Act of Canada. This transition would give the former enforcement branch bigger independence to operate and achieve its set goals. Moreover, The Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering issued the official timeline for the upcoming months of public hearings. February 24 is about to see the official launch of this process.