Key players in the fight against money laundering in British Columbia are stunned that the Casino de Montréal is giving gifts to the Mafia to keep them gambling with money of “dubious origin”.
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“I’m shocked,” says Peter German, former deputy commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), “it’s extremely disturbing because it implies some kind of connection between the mafia boss and the casino. »
At the government’s request, Peter German, a financial crimes specialist, wrote a brief on money laundering in the province’s casinos entitled Dirty Money.
The document caused the spark that started a real fire across the country. It provides evidence that millions of dollars are being laundered by criminals with the tacit complicity of the state.
Faced with this damning report, British Columbia had no choice but to initiate a public commission of inquiry, the Cullen commission, modelled on the Charbonneau commission.
“It’s clear to me that dirty money has been circulating in our casinos for several years,” says German, who also has a law degree.
Commission officials believe that the casino situation is certainly not unique to their province.
“It seems to me that what we’re finding here might be relevant to other provinces, and it would surprise me personally if this were an isolated situation in British Columbia,” observes Cullen Commission senior advisor Brock Martland.
Unlike in Quebec, British Columbia gaming houses are privately owned. The River Rock Casino in Richmond, a stone’s throw from Vancouver, is well known for its owners’ complacency toward criminals. The images of a man who showed up with $460,000 in $20 bills have gone around the world.
When questioned by our investigation office, Loto-Québec stated that it has “mechanisms to address the risks identified” by the expert Peter German in his report.