Cullen Commission’s investigation about alleged money laundering activities by organized crime groups continues. Most recently the inquiry has stumbled upon new evidence that connects British Columbia casinos, Macau and Las Vegas casinos, and more potential crime activities with drug money and loan sharks channeling money between Vancouver, South America and Chinese underground banks. Notorious crime lord Paul King Jin’s name has been mentioned once again.
Monday saw the Royal Canadian Mounted Police provide more testimony about its investigation of the issue back in the day. Cpl. Melvin Chizawsky shared more light from the police department’s investigations in November 2018, with brand-new information of criminal charges against Mr. Jin and Silver International, and Richmond currency exchange activities.
According to the RCMP’s executive Silver International cooperated with a drug trafficking organization in order to wash huge cash amounts on behalf of Chinese, Latin American, and Canadian drug lords. In his words, Mr. Jin and the corporation organized Chinese nationals to deposit cash assets into Chinese banks and pay them with Canadian currency which they later used for gambling in the province’s casinos.
Mr. Chizawsky included that around 300 investigators were working on the money laundering case back in the day. The police department found evidence that the Silver corporation had access to several other cash pools such as one in Mexico City, Bogota, and Colombia. In the investigation, the police seized records from the company from 2015 that unregistered funds exchange took CA$200 million in cash and paid out CA$217 in numerous different locations.
The police operative revealed information about Mr. Jin’s arrest and interrogation in February 2016. In which the crime lord confessed and even bragged about having gambling accounts in Las Vegas and Macau casinos, which he used in order to help his own gambling business, Chinese individuals. According to the statements, he landed players money to his clients which they later used in Richmond’s River Rock Casino and Vancouver’s Edgewater Casino.
The police also discovered Mr. Jin’s unregulated casino, where Chinese high-rollers were using chips from River Rock Casino. The RCMP also found at the property many baccarat tables and CA$4.3 million in cash. Despite admitting to running the illegal gambling den, he denied it is connected to any illicit activities. All of the accusations towards him and casino investigations remain unproven in court to this date.
From previous inquiry, we learned that allegedly former President of BCLC Michael Graydon did not follow the government’s guidelines and measures of how the Crown corporation should deal with the concerning money laundering issues. In fact, the ex-CEO encouraged gambling executives to meet the budget expectations regardless of the manner in how the money is acquired even if it is a suspiciously huge amount of cash.
Another episode of the inquiry showed testimony from previous director of B.C. Gaming Enforcement Branch director Len Meilleur. The former executive claimed that many of the casinos’ high-rolling players were in the top 100 corruption suspects back in 2015. However, the Crown was hesitant to react on the matter and stalled the adoption of the source of money directive which would have helped with the reduction of such illegal activities.
Source: Cooper, Sam “‘Vancouver Model’ money laundering connects B.C., Las Vegas and Macau casinos, inquiry hears”, Global News, March 1, 2021