BC Dirty Money Report Author Was Conflicted, Former SG Claims in Secret Recording
Posted on: December 3, 2020, 06:17h.
Last updated on: December 3, 2020, 10:42h.
The author of two explosives reports on British Columbia’s rampant money-laundering problem may not have been the right man for the job, according to secret recordings that surfaced this week.
Former Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) deputy commissioner for Western Canada Peter German was commissioned to write two reports for the province in 2016. Titled Dirty Money, the first dealt with money laundering within the VIP segment at BC casinos. The second looked at horse racing, luxury vehicles, and real estate.
When he came to office in 2016, BC attorney general David Eby had been shocked to discover the extent of the problem, which the previous provincial Liberal government appeared to have either ignored or willfully covered up.
Eby wanted the issue examined by an independent third party. But now, secret recordings have emerged in which a former BC solicitor general Kash Heed questions German’s impartiality, and suggests he may have had a conflict of interest.
‘Tsunami’ of Money Laundering
The recordings were made by former commander of BC’s anti-illegal gaming Fred Pinnock and were offered as evidence to the Cullen Commission. The commission is examining the extent of culpability of the Liberal government for BC’s money laundering problem.
During his testimony, Pinnock said that the government had deliberately ignored the issue. Pinnock’s unit, the Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team (IIGET), was disbanded after he started making noises about organized crime taking over casinos.
Pinnock has blamed another former BC solicitor general, current BC lawmaker Rich Coleman, for pulling IIGET.
In the 2018 recordings, Heed says that Coleman was the head of an “unethical network” that was responsible for a “tsunami of money laundering” in BC casinos.
But Heed says Eby “didn’t know the backstory,” and should not have selected German to write the reports.
At the time Coleman disbanded the IIGET in 2009, German was the RCMP assistant commissioner for the Lower Mainland. According to Heed, he would have been one of the people who signed off Coleman’s request to dissolve IIGET.
“David [Eby] and I have been friends for years, and I actually – when he hired [German] to do his thing, I phoned him and gave him shit,” Heed said in the recording.
‘Now you’re bringing one of the decision makers back to review it?’ I said, ‘How hypocritical is that, David?’ He was just quiet on the phone. He was very quiet on the phone,” said Heed.
German told Glacier Media this week that the comments were “outrageous” and that he had no involvement with the “formation, operation, or end of IIGET.” He added that, to the best of his recollection, he had never met Coleman until he interviewed him for the Dirty Money report.
German’s report on money laundering in casinos made 48 recommendations to help eradicate the problem, many of which have been implemented. These include ensuring patrons who deposit more than $10,000 can prove their funds do not come from illegal activity.
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