Documents showing money-laundering practices across British Columbia far outreach previous estimations were recently unearthed, shaking the field and everyone affected by it. Attorney-General David Eby who follows development of the events closely, recently stated that he is in awe at the information that more than a billion Canadian dollars have been washed annually.
Furthermore, there are indications that the federal government and RCMP have also been in the know without sharing the information. Last year sparked the conversation and subsequent deep look into the true nature of the gaming and real estate fields of British Columbia, as the RCMP sought to find out more about money-laundering allegations. Attorney-General Eby claimed he was outraged upon finding out about the real magnitude of the cash washed by the criminals.
Money-Laundering of Great Magnitude Shocks Attorney-General
At the very beginning of the probes, the estimated figure gravitated towards CA$200 million, still a substantial one. However, only recently the federal Ministry of Finance pinpointed a figure far surpassing initial estimations. According to the information issued, the province might have seen about CA$1 billion laundered over the span of a single year.
No particular time period has been mentioned for the time being. Mr. Eby was baffled by the amount cited, as it indicates serious issues and gaps in the anti-money-laundering policies on a provincial level. This substantial amount of dirty money laundered also highlights another issue, this time on a federal level. Communication channels across Canada appear to fail to keep the information flow consistent and efficient.
Mr. Eby stated that it is unacceptable for him to come across the news about copious amounts of cash laundered only after reading lawyer and former-RCMP executive Peter German’s Dirty Money report. In the meantime, both the federal government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been aware of the illegal practice. Despite knowing and witnessing the large amounts of suspicious transactions taking place across British Columbia, they never notified the British Columbia government.
Conversation and Revelations Continue
In the weeks following the scandalous revelations, the overall response appeared to be insufficient and not in any way matching the magnitude of the issue. British Columbia’s Attorney-General stated that the subject was among the topics discussed during one of his recent meetings with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
The two of them dedicated their time to conversing about the apparent inefficient flow of information between the levels of government when it comes to washing cash. The subject is going to be further discussed between Mr. Eby and Bill Blair, Minister of Organized Crime Reduction in the upcoming week. In order to optimize the entire process and keep the channels open and well-functioning, governments should work in synchronicity.
If only the federal government had told British Columbia about its suspicions, keeping it up to date, the province would have been able to battle organized criminals and their devastating harm on an array of industries in a better way. They span across both legal and illegal gambling locations, cash transfer services, as well as asset procurement.
Suspicious transactions included a third-party depositing a large amount of cash in the casino venue and purchasing casino chips with them. However, after this step no gambling takes place, but instead, the chips are cashed. This illegal scheme has successfully existed for years uninterrupted by the authorities.