The Cullen Commission continues its search for answers and evidence on the case of money-laundering activities that have allegedly occurred in British Columbia casinos and real estate sectors. The commission informed that at the end of April former B.C. Premier Christy Clark along with current cabinet ministers will give their statements on the subject.
The provincial government of British Columbia has assigned Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen back in 2019 to take charge of the public inquiry. The commission has yet to provide any firm evidence on the money laundering case as there are many contradicting statements. According to reports millions of dollars have been washed by organized crime groups in the province’s casino properties.
Most recently the commission has informed that there will be an additional set of witnesses scheduled to give their testimony at the end of April. It was published on its official website that former Premier Christy Clark will also give her side of the story later this month. The inquiry is hopeful to hear more from the provincial’s operatives after previously it heard the RCMP’s findings.
The commission is looking towards providing as much evidence and testaments as possible before officially concluding and presenting its report to the federal government. Along with Ms. Clark, former B.C. Liberal cabinet ministers Rich Coleman, Michael de Jong, Kash Heed, and party’s provisional leader Shirley Bond served as Clark’s public safety minister and attorney general.
According to the information provided by the official website of the commission, the current Attorney General of the province David Eby will also provide his testaments to the inquiry. Previously, Mr. Eby critiqued the commission by claiming that it was unable to properly utilize its tools and finding in the money laundering investigations. The new testimony hearings are expected to start from April 19 to the end of the month.
The public inquiry received an extension in March for its final report on the case which must be presented in December 2021 to the provincial government of British Columbia. As of right now, the inquiry does not possess the needed evidence to provide its final say on the matter. The unprecedented situation has greatly intervened in the investigations as there have been some reschedules and the hearings are now held online.
Former BCLC President
Previously a set of email discussions was read at the inquiry which suggested that former President of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation Michael Graydon failed to comply with the government’s anti-money laundering protocols in order to maintain a high flow of revenue. Allegedly, the then-president Mr. Graydon encouraged his colleagues to meet the budget expectations by promising them bigger bonus incentives.
Additionally, B.C casino executives faced allegations that they were too slow in their reaction to the suspicious huge amounts of cash being thrown around in the province’s casinos. The name of now-former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation Rod Baker has also been mentioned, as he was one of the officials along with Mr. Graydon that deemed the money laundering investigations as harmful for the industry.
Source: “Former B.C. premier, cabinet ministers to testify at money laundering inquiry”. CTV News, April 7, 2021