British Columbia Government Slammed For Turning a Blind Eye on Money Laundering

Publish: 01.10.2017

Last week, British Columbia’s attorney general, David Evy published report made a year ago, that deals with allegations of money laundering made against River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond.

According to the report, the casino located in one of Vancouver’s suburbs had a long history of accepting cash buy-ins from Asian VIP clients. The single cash buy-ins often exceeded $400,000.

No Known Source of Funds

The report revealed the significant cash transactions had involved the funds whose source had been unknown, while the money was usually dropped off at the casino late at night. Only in July 2015, the casino accepted $13.5 million in $20 bills.

These underground channels were used to bypass the control of capital and were mostly used by non-residents from China. Over time, this operation has become a regularly-used mean for transferring money for VIP players.

The report was originally commissioned by the British Columbia Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch. This government agency has to oversee the operations of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), the provincial gambling crown corporation.

BCLC has acquired a reputation for not being too concerned about the origin of funds used in its gaming venues, and the report revealed the full scale of the company’s negligence.

Why Waiting a Whole Year

Eby claimed the BC Liberals, who were the British Columbia’s ruling party until this spring, didn’t rush to reveal the report’s finding to the public. He said the report offered a series of suggestions aimed at reforming provincial anti-money laundering policies, but it seemed nothing of it had been taken into consideration by the officials.

The new British Columbia government announced it would conduct an independent review. On the other hand, the Chief Executive Officer, Jim Lighbody stated the corporation would offer its full cooperation.

Lighbody claimed the BCLC had zero tolerance for criminals targeting the company’s business.