British Columbia Lawmaker Connected to Casino Schemes
A former police commander is accusing a British Columbia lawmaker of allowing money laundering at state-owned casinos.
Money laundering is a big offense in countries around the world. In the gambling industry, casinos have anti-money laundering strategies in place to stop such activity from taking place. While casinos work to stop any type of money laundering from happening, it does happen. In British Columbia, a lawmaker was recently accused of allowing criminals to launder money at the state-operated casinos. The details of the scheme came to light from information provided by a former police commander.
Details of the Accusation
Years ago, Fred Pinnock was in charge of the anti-illegal gaming unit in British Columbia. In 2009, the group was disbanded. Recently, Pinnock spoke with a commission in charge of reviewing historical casino money laundering in British Columbia. According to Pinnock, Rich Coleman, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, held responsibility when it came to criminal gang activity at casinos operated by BC Lottery Corp.
Pinnock pointed out that money laundering was rampant, and the government was willfully blinded to what was going on. The Cullen Commission is who Pinnock spoke to and the group that is looking into the casino sector and money laundering activity. Certain reports point out that from 2011 to 2015, money laundering activity was at its highest levels.
The former police commander reported to the commission that the situation was out of control back in 2007. He tried to work against the money laundering activity by gangs and asked for a larger remit in his department. However, those in charge denied the request.
Pinnok told the commission that he felt that his superiors did not care about the activity that was taking place. Public safety was not a priority when it came to the gaming industry. In one instance, Pinnock spoke to Kash Heed, the solicitor general. He spoke about Coleman and the problem with money laundering.
Heed confirmed Pinnock’s believe that Coleman knew what was going on at the casinos and he felt too the Coleman had created the problem. Basically, it seemed others knew what was going on and it was all about the money, though no one would step forward to help Pinnock tackle the issue.
Pinnock kept trying to stop the casino money laundering activity and fought with his superiors on a regular basis for change. He eventually took medical leave and a short time later, the unit he was in charge of was disbanded. Interestingly enough, the group was disbanded just three months after a report was filed that showed the way organized criminal organizations had infiltrated the casinos in British Columbia.
Everything pretty much stayed the same until 2016. At this time, British Columbia created an anti-gang unit. The new group was in charge of dealing with casino crime including money laundering.
For now, the commission reviewing the historical money laundering issues will continue to hear testimony from Pinnock. Before he ended the recent round of discussions, Pinnock commented on something that happened after his unit was disbanded.
At the time, he was dating Naomi Yamamoto, a lawmaker in British Columbia. He asked Naomi to go to Coleman with the concern of money laundering. She did and was publicly berated for her actions. Coleman was brutal in his response and it was embarrassing to her when she tried to approach him on the matter.
Pinnock will continue his testimony with the Commission, and it will be interesting to see if he has any more to reveal. Will Coleman be approached by officials and have to answer to what the former police commander is accusing him of? Are more precautions being taken to stop money laundering from taking place in British Columbia? We shall see what is revealed after the next round of information from Pinnock to the Commission.