Technical support issues
The committee was led by former B.C. Austin Cullen, Lord Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was the task of local governments to identify whether millions of Canadian dollars in money laundering charges were made in the gambling and real estate sectors of Chinese organized crime groups and to provide opinions on how to prevent them in the future.
This Wednesday Commissioner Cullen released the long-awaited local report. He said billions of illicit assets from organized crime and drug trafficking had been leaked, affecting the real estate, gaming and luxury vehicle industry in the province. He added that the former Liberal government and the BCLC were aware of the questionable cash, but did not show enough willingness to oppose it.
Mr Cullen explained that the government had taken steps to address the problem, but it was not enough. According to the report, former B.C. gaming ministers Rich Coleman, Mike De Jong, Shirley Bond and former prime minister Christie Clark all took anti-money laundering measures, but with limited results. All four testified in the investigation, but explained that it was based on the best information they had at the time.
In May 2021, former gaming minister Mr Coleman was summoned to testify for a second time about the investigation. This time he was asked about a statement made by RCMP investigator Barry Baxter in 2011. Current Attorney General David Evey also said he wanted an explanation from former government members in the investigation.
The report also states that there is no evidence that any of these individuals have willingly encouraged, promoted or allowed money laundering in a way that receives personal benefits in financial or political forms. The investigation heard testimony from nearly 200 witnesses, including politicians, government officials, law enforcement agencies, scholars and experts, for more than 133 days.
In conclusion, the report made 101 recommendations and urged the B.C. legislature to create an independent committee office to focus on anti-money laundering measures and force casinos to lower the limit to CA$3,000 to demand evidence of gamblers' funding sources. This is because the report also states that individuals took large cash bags into the Vancouver area casino.
The commission says there has been no ongoing effort by the RCMP to investigate money laundering activities in the region. The police conducted two major money laundering investigations from 2015 to 2020, and even proceeded to the stage of acknowledging the charges. In response, the RCMP claimed to have fully participated in the investigation, saying it would review the report.
Thursday, November 23, 2023