British Columbia casinos to face new money laundering inquiry

The Canadian province of British Columbia will conduct a formal inquiry into money laundering activity following recent revelations of funny money flowing throwing BC casinos.

On Wednesday, BC Premier John Horgan publicly announced that BC Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen would lead an inquiry into rampant money laundering activity in the province’s gaming industry, but Cullen will also examine other corporate sectors, including real estate, luxury goods and financial services.

BC’s gaming industry was the subject of a scathing report released last year by former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German, who recommended the province establish a truly independent regulatory entity to deter people from carrying hockey bags full of $20 bills into casinos. Last week, German released two new reports into other BC business sectors with equally damning conclusions.

BC Attorney General David Eby said the province was “done with asking nicely” for cooperation by individuals and entities at the heart of the money laundering activity. Eby said Cullen had been granted “significant” powers to compel witnesses to provide evidence. The federal government’s organized crime watchdogs will cooperate with BC’s inquiry, which will release an interim report within 18 months and a final report by May 2021.

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