In April of this year, the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch passed on a memo to the minister of the provincial government of British Columbia. This memo stated that organised crime has now become a ‘viable threat to public safety’.
British Columbia Memo
Canada’s Post media managed to get their hands on the memo this week through a freedom of information request. Although parts of this memo have been highly edited, there are uncertainties that have been raised in terms of the money laundering investigations conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
This memo was received by the assistant deputy minister in charge of the branch, John Mazure, from Len Meilleur, the director of compliance for the branch.
The memo, after many edited statements, goes on to say that the information found within the investigation is attesting to be a threat to public safety, due to the involvement of large collection of criminal activities
British Columbia’s Casinos Riddled with Anti- Money Laundering Violations
Upon intensive investigation of the reporters at Postmedia, it was found that the casinos in British Columbia are absolutely riddled with anti-money laundering (AML) violations. One of the casinos found to conduct underreporting of big and sketchy cash transactions most often is Vancouver’s River Rock Casino.
Held within internal and confidential reports that have been put together by both gaming regulators and law enforcement authorities, are claims of suspect ‘drop-offs’ done at night. These drop-offs would be done nearby or in the parking area of the River Rock Casino, whereby bulky bundles of Canadian Dollars would be exchanged in the dark.
Reports by The RCMP on the Scandal in British Columbia
Reports propose that the scandalous nighttime endeavours could be an underground banking network. It is thought that these networks have come together for Chinese mainland visitors to lend money and gamble at the River Rock Casino. Paul ‘King’ Fun, the alleged operator of the network is said to have access to bank accounts in Peru, Iran and Mexico. These accounts are supposedly linked to multiple drug cartels. In addition, the connection with Iran seems to have the RMCP very suspicious of links to terrorist financing.
Further, there are hints that perhaps the MNP accounting firm, who happened to be compiling a report detailing the casino in July of 2016, buried some crucial AML failing, information. It is believed that the former provincial government perhaps ignored these failings.
Organised Crime in British Columbia
According to Meilleur money laundering is a building block to organised crime. More so, he believes that more needs to be done on the AML front, to remove the threat to public safety.