Casino News

Cullen’s Commission With More Revelations On Money Laundering

The latest bit of shocking information emerged from the Cullen Commission’s investigation into money laundering on the territory of British Columbia casinos. The inquiry learns that Vancouver real estate lawyers had allegedly taken part in the illegal activities by helping high rolling casino gamblers to buy properties in the city.

Tuesday’s inquiry saw testimony from BCLC’s anti-money laundering intelligence specialist Brad Rudnicki. According to him, high-rolling gamblers were using the same illegal model of buying casino chips to purchase real estate properties in the area. Investigators were probing real estate lawyers who were connected to private mortgages, organized crime, and even international money-laundering schemes.

The Vancouver Model

Previous interrogations and testimonies in the money laundering inquiry of the Cullen’s Commission provided information that high-profile Chinese players were funded by organized crime groups and loan sharks. The aim of the undertaking was to wash dirty money by purchasing chips in British Columbia casinos and come out with clean cash from the gambling property. Investigator later named this scheme the Vancouver Model.

Mr. Rudnicki claimed that he and his team started investigating real estate property ownership connected to alleged crime-lords and loan sharks Kwok Chung Tam and Paul King Jin back in 2015. Both of the individuals were banned from playing in B.C. casinos for 5 years for numerous of reasons. Then, the investigation showed that high rollers started to take private mortgage loans from the two suspects.

According to the investigations, Mr. Rudnicki and his team noticed that the suspicious gamblers often listed “student” or “housewife”. And yet those same gamblers were in possession of huge cash sums, with a hidden source of income. He also added that the same individuals were often connected to multi-million-dollar houses and foreign companies. It was believed that they were relatives of the high-rolling casino players.

The anti-money laundering expert claimed that there is still no firm evidence about the alleged illicit activities. But there was enough to suggest that further examinations and investigations must be conducted. The inquiry will continue its mandate to determine whether those allegations of money washing activities in B.C. gambling properties and real estate schemes actually took place.

RCMP Sheds Light

The inquiry finally learned more from the police department’s previous investigations of the issue. Cpl. Melvin Chizawsky from the RCMP gave his testimony in a prior inquiry. According to him, Silver International company had a part in money washing activities with the help of organized crime groups. It is believed that Paul King Jin and the beforementioned establishment, helped Chinese nationals by lending them money to bet in the province’s casinos, as long as they deposit a sum in a Chinese bank.

Budget Outlook

Former President of BCLC Michael Graydon was accused of not following the gambling authorities’ anti-money laundering directives, previously learned the inquiry. Commission lawyer Patrick McGowan read a series of an email exchanges between the former president and the corporation’s staff. According to the emails, Mr. Graydon did not comply with the proposed measures and even went to great lengths to encourage his colleagues to meet the budget expectations.

Source: Cooper, Sam “Real estate lawyers may have helped high rollers buy Vancouver homes like casino chips: inquiry”, Global News, March 2, 2021