Money Laundering In Canadian Casinos Takes Another Twist
Since 2015, Canadian authorities have been investigating a web of money laundering activities at various casinos across the country. The River Rock Casino Resort has received the most attention as the casino reportedly processed money laundering transactions in the range of billions of dollars.
Recent reports add another twist to the Canadian money laundering saga as the money might have passed through government accounts when it was being laundered.
Regulators investigating the money laundering recently reported that up to $1.7 billion was moved through the British Columbia casinos with the use of high roller accounts. Most of this was done by Chinese high rollers, who mainly used Canadian bank accounts, along with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) patron gaming fund.
The original amount for the laundered money was set at $100 million. However, further investigation revealed that the amount laundered was a lot higher. This was a serious issue already because of the amount of money laundered, but it is now been made worse by the fact that they used government accounts for their deeds.
In a statement, the BCLC said
Only funds sourced to a recognized financial institution may be placed in a patron gaming fund (PGF) account at account opening. BCLC monitors play activity and PGF account activity and investigates unusual activity — including by requesting proof of source of wealth.
Additional documents show that despite the BCLC‘s claims of being strict about where the patron gaming fund’s money comes from, suspicious bank drafts from 2010 to 2018 were processed. This is surprising as this has taken place after the start of the money laundering investigations. The money, which totals to around $1.7 billion, is linked to ten Chinese nationals who gambled in various casinos. Each of them reportedly has ties to the Chinese triads.
However, this new twist may not have a serious impact on the money launderers. This is because a recent criminal case linked to the investigation collapsed as the prosecutors are alleged to have leaked information about one of their key witnesses. This makes it a lot more difficult for government prosecutors to bring future cases to court because defense attorneys would be able to suggest that the information is compromised.
This has become par for the course of this money laundering investigation, with the circumstances making the investigation and the prosecution of the case difficult. Though the investigations into the money laundering continues, no one knows whether a future case will be built against anyone.