Former British Columbia Lottery Corporation VP Robert Kroecker accused David Eby of becoming disinterested in a 2017 meeting on the subject of anti-money laundering operations. In his words, Attorney-General Eby became less interested in monitoring and reporting money laundering on Canadian casinos’ premises, which coincided with the NDP forming government. Previously, Eby was considered to have a pivotal role in the anti-corruption undertakings.
Robert Kroecker who was previously employed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation at a very high level said in yesterday’s hearing that back in 2017, David Eby seemed as he was no longer interested in anti-money laundering investigations after a presentation on the subject in the said 2017 meeting.
In the inquiry, Kroecker also stated that Eby had also disparaged a report by Brad Rudnicki, who is a proven specialist in the anti-money laundering for the casino industry. The report suggested links between casino players and organized crime groups, and even showings of suspicious big-figure transactions on some casino premises. Naturally, Eby denied such reports to be true.
In Kroeker’s words, Eby went all the way to even mock Brad Rudnicki’s name by stating “What would a guy with a name like Rudnicki know about Chinese money laundering?”. The Attorney-General’s office refused to comment on the situation and also said that it would be considered inappropriate for Eby himself to make remarks on the subject while the commission is still ongoing.
Before the NDP
Eby was very critical of the way the lottery corporation dealt with the ongoing money laundering problems at casinos, and when he became Attorney-General and the measures, he implemented in taking down money-laundering operations were always a topic of discussion. Monday’s inquiry suggested that Vancouver-based wealthy Chinese businessmen used dirty money in the casinos, unfortunately, the money was never proven to be tied with the criminal activities.
In May 2019 B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen was tasked by Eby’s office to lead the money-laundering public inquiry, after reports of hundreds of millions of Canadian dollars which has negatively influenced the real estate and gaming industries. Kroeker testified that had major involvement in the creation of B.C.’s civil forfeiture office. In July 2019, Kroeker was terminated from his vice-president position of Corporate Compliance.
David Eby’s Involvement
British Columbia has been a subject of controversy for a few years now, with reports of money-laundering in both real estate and gambling industry. Back in 2019, Attorney-General Eby believed that federal authorities did not had the tools to deal with such concerning issues, thus expressing his disappointment with the unresolved problems. Reports suggested that over CA$220 million has been laundered in the Richmond area alone, no proper explanation was given on the matter, which further proved Mr. Eby’s statement that the agencies do not know how to properly tackle the issue.
Not long ago, Attorney-General Eby expressed his disappointment publicly after an announcement from the Richmond provincial court that the charges were dropped by the Crown Corporation in the federal case. The federal case was in the subject of money-laundering on local casino premises and the real estate field over the last few months.
Source: “Ex lottery VP says Eby ‘disinterested’ in corporation’s anti-money laundering efforts”, CBC, January 25, 2021