DIRTY MONEY: NDP Says BC Liberals Turned A Blind Eye As Money Laundering In Casinos Grew To Alarming Rates

New Report Says BC Casinos Assisted Organized Crime In Laundering Millions Of Illicit Cash!

 

New Democrat MLA for Delta North Ravi Kahlon said the previous BC Liberal government did nothing to effectively crack down on money laundering allegations in B.C. casinos. He further accused the Liberals of dismantling the Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team despite suspicious financial transactions in casinos growing to peak levels of roughly $20 million per month in 2015. Kahlon said that in 2009, BC Liberal MLA Rich Coleman became the Solicitor General, and one of his earliest acts was to dismantle the Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team, despite money laundering already being a significant concern in B.C. casinos. “Why did Rich Coleman and the B.C. Liberals dismantle the enforcement team as reports of suspicious activity were increasing, and why didn’t they do anything substantial to make up for the gap in the years following?,” Kahlon asked. Coleman is now considering running for Mayor in Surrey where gang violence and crime has risen under the currently governing Surrey First led by mayor Linda Hepner.

By PD Raj – Senior Writer DESIBUZZCanada

VANCOUVER – New Democrat MLA for Delta North Ravi Kahlon said the previous BC Liberal government did nothing to effectively crack down on money laundering allegations in B.C. casinos.

He further accused the Liberals of dismantling the Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team despite suspicious financial transactions in casinos growing to peak levels of roughly $20 million per month in 2015.

Kahlon’s comments followed the release of an independent report commissioned by the Attorney General of B.C. that showed large-scale money laundering has been occurring in B.C. casinos, and that the previous BC Liberal government didn’t do anything to effectively address it.

Kahlon said that in 2009, BC Liberal MLA Rich Coleman became the Solicitor General, and one of his earliest acts was to dismantle the Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team, despite money laundering already being a significant concern in B.C. casinos.

Coleman is now considering running for Mayor in Surrey where gang violence and crime has risen under the currently governing Surrey First led by mayor Linda Hepner.

Kahlon added that in 2013, Mike de Jong was the B.C. Liberal Finance Minister, and despite the ministry received increasing reports of suspicious transactions, none of it resulted in charges or prosecutions

Kahlon said there are multiple questions that the B.C. Liberals have never adequately answered, including why they pulled apart enforcement as things were getting worse. “Why did Rich Coleman and the B.C. Liberals dismantle the enforcement team as reports of suspicious activity were increasing, and why didn’t they do anything substantial to make up for the gap in the years following?”

“This is a serious issue that the former B.C. Liberal government never seemed to take seriously,” said Kahlon. “Even as the RCMP released a report raising the alarm about possible links to transnational drug trafficking and terrorist financing, the B.C. Liberals never took effective steps to crack down, or undo the damage caused when they dismantled the enforcement team.”

In his report, Peter German said the problem amounted to a collective system failure where “nobody said no” to the growing problem.

“The New Democrat government has done more in the first 11 months in office to crack down on suspicious activity than the previous government did in their entire 16 years,” said MLA Ravi Kahlon.

He said the River Rock in Richmond was the "epicentre" of the problem, though "no large casino was untouched."

Among former RCMP cop German's recommendations are that the province research the vulnerability of B.C.’s real estate, luxury car and horse racing sectors to organized crime.

German says around 2012, the problem had grown from “small time loan sharking” to “large scale money laundering."

The problem reached a peak in 2015, according to German.

That was the year when Richmond's River Rock casino accepted $13.5 million in $20 bills in a single month, with AG Eby telling a parliamentary committee about huge amounts of cash being brought into casinos in hockey duffel bags.

According to disclosures, at one point the River Rock Casino accepted nearly half a million dollars in a single buy-in – mostly of $20 bills.

A strategy to devise an alternative to cash buy-ins “was a failed strategy for one simple reason,” German says. “Organized criminals are not looking for cash alternatives. They want to launder cash and we now know they continued to do precisely that, and with vigour.”

On top of that, the report says BCLC was left to be its own regulator of money laundering, while gaming employees were “receiving contradictory directives and constantly witnessing the dysfunction that exists between BCLC and” its regulator, the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, reported CBC News.

Meanwhile anti-money laundering software used by BCLC “has not met expectations and the AML staff must resort to manual systems to perform analytical functions.”

The new regulator should be an crown corporation, with a board of directors and a registrar, which itself has a “designated policing unit” like the Ontario Provincial Police’s Casino Bureau or the Nevada GCB Enforcement Division, German says.

Be the first to comment on "DIRTY MONEY: NDP Says BC Liberals Turned A Blind Eye As Money Laundering In Casinos Grew To Alarming Rates"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*