Casino News

RCMP Warned About Possible China Organized Crime Wave

Friday’s hearing from the Cullen Commission’s investigation on money laundering activities in British Columbia revealed information that back in 2015 a police executive warned casino officials about high-rolling casino clients’ ties with organized crime groups. This was relating to the suspicion that alleged criminals used casinos as a way to launder their dirty money in British Columbia.


From the inquiry, we learned that RCMP officer Calvin Chrustie informed a Crown corporation’s staff about Chinese criminals flooding the province’s casinos with dirty money. And also, that the cartels were related to the Chinese crime networks. However, the BCLC executives did not support the claim the crime money was being used to fund casinos’ clients in the province.

Len Meilleur’s Testimony


Former B.C. Gaming Enforcement Branch director Len Meilleur gave testimony in Friday’s hearing. According to the ex-head of the branch, many of the casinos’ high-betting players were among the list of top 100 corruption suspects in 2015, also known as the SkyNet “most wanted” list. Mr. Meilleur also mentioned his discussions with Mr. Chrustie about the RCMP investigation of notorious loan shark Paul King Jin, whose network apparently funded players at River Rock Casino.

Email correspondence between Mr. Meilleur and Mr. Chrustie in June 2015, saw the discussion that despite obvious money laundering signs, the BCLC’s executives seemed reluctant to accept the RCMP’s suspicions of money laundering. In the inquiry were read notes from Mr. Meilleur which he took during the police’s investigation in 2015, where it stated that at that point no one in the BCLC could deny the connection between large cash transactions and mysterious source of cash.

According to the notes, the Crown corporation believed that the money washing was not a substantial problem even after news of police investigations. The company’s operatives were also reluctant to act on the matter due to potential financial losses and even a bad image for the gaming industry if the news came to the media’s attention.

Mr. Meilleur believes if then-gaming minister Mike de Jong had issued the money laundering directive, this would have solved the province’s criminal activities. He also added that Mr. de Jong’s office was looking for alternatives to the money-source measure instead of implementing it. The directive was implemented way in 2018 when the media took the subject under scrutiny.

Michael Graydon’s Term

From the February 11 inquiry we learned that former CEO of the Crown Corporation Michael Graydon instructed casino officials to turn their attention to increasing revenue instead of following the money laundering measures. According to series of emails read in the inquiry, Mr. Graydon urged his colleagues to focus on revenue and disregarding the appropriate manner of its acquiring.


Cullen Commission’s investigation also found that former Chair of the BCLC’s Board Bud Smith did not alert Mr. de Jong about the undergoing criminal money laundering activities in B.C. casinos. Also, emails between the two suggest that Mr. de Jong requested Mr. Smith to tackle the suspicious cash transactions. However, the former turned his focus on an offshore casino in Metro Vancouver, which later turned out to be abandoned.

Source: Cooper, Sam “RCMP warned B.C. govt capital flight from China related to organized crime and drug cartels: inquiry”, Global News, February 12, 2021