Former director of anti-money laundering investigations for British Columbia’s Crown Corporation Ross Alderson did not respond to the March 2020 summons to court by the Cullen’s Commission. After previously corresponding and cooperating with the Commission, it is unclear whether Mr. Alderson has received the call to give testimony on the illegal activities of money laundering the province’s casino properties.
During its mandate, the Cullen’s Commission was tasked with the uneasy responsibility of determining whether illicit money washing activities have taken place in British Columbia’s casinos. Prior to that, there was video footage and claims that gaming facilities in the province did not find substantial cash sums in casinos as suspicious. Allegedly, leading to millions of dollars being washed by Chinese organized crime groups by playing in the casinos.
No Sign of Mr. Alderson
According to Commission counsel, Mr. Alderson has not responded to their communication attempts, after the commission tried to contact him via email. Previously, both sides have cooperated with each other, after Mr. Alderson provided vital information on the money laundering activities. The former BCLC investigator was supposed to attend the inquiry by last fall.
Commission counsel has suspicions that Mr. Alderson might no longer be in Canada. His disappearance and lack of response are considered rather peculiar since the former BCLC employee willingly cooperated with 2019 investigations. In his words, he was more than happy to help out the investigation since lots of people needed to go to jail and the public inquiry was a necessity.
Mr. Alderson was BCLC casino investigator from 2008 to 2015 when became the head of the Crown agency’s Anti-money laundering unit. According to him, many casino employees have united with the suspicious gamblers in order to help in carrying out the illegal money washing activities. He handed his resignation in October 2017 thus leaving the gambling sector.
Prior, to his resignation, Mr. Alderson has made some investigation documents public to the media, where he stated his discontent with how the authorities have dealt with the concerning situation. He later added that after the whistleblowing of documents, his credibility has taken a major hit and even taken its toll on his mental health. Last November, investigator, and colleague Darryl Tottenham stated that Mr. Alderson seemed unwell and that he was experiencing mental health issues.
Former Dealer Gives Speaks
Previous inquiry of the Commission heard testimony from former casino employee and gambler Qi “Coco” Li. The former Vancouver Edgewater Casino employee admitted that she helped Chinese international by running errands and welcoming gamblers at the local airport. However, she claims that she was unaware that the bags she saw and handed in at the casino were filled with cash.
The police department also provided more info to the Cullen Commission’s investigations into money laundering activities in British Columbia casinos. According to Cpl. Melvin Chizawsky, RCMP’s investigations determined that notorious loan shark Paul King Jin was loaning money to organized crime groups which they later used to purchase chips in the casinos. Another name that was mentioned was Silver International, which allegedly also had a part in the illicit money washing activities.
Source: Wood, Graeme “Money laundering whistleblower vanishes without a trace”, Vancouver Is Awesome, March 9, 2021