Authorities on the Case of Money Laundering at BC Casinos

In May 2016, a special task force was assigned to investigate alleged money laundering through BC casinos. What they found was millions of dollars being trafficked through British Columbia’s Lower Mainland casinos by an organized crime group. So far, nine have been arrested on allegations of multiple offenses.

Cash seized in BC casinos money laundering investigation

Cash seized by authorities in BC casinos money laundering investigation

The year-long investigation seeks to unravel a deep strain of illegal gambling operations. Authorities determined nine members of an organized crime unit had been heavily involved in a multi-million money laundering scheme through BC casinos. The alleged criminals are said to have been laundering drug trafficking money.

List Of Offenses Growing

Kevin Hacket CFSEUA list of other alleged offenses includes everything from kidnapping and loan sharking, to extortion. The allegations and multiple arrests were confirmed this week by Kevin Hackett (left), Assistant Commissioner of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU).

In a news conference with local reporters Tuesday, Hackett said, “It’s safe to say that we’re looking at millions of dollars being laundered.”

Authorities believe the individuals involved in the money laundering scheme through BC casinos have ties reaching far and wide. They’ve been linked to organized crime throughout Canada, stretching all the way to mainland China and beyond.

“Money laundering, loan sharking and illegal gaming provide an attractive source of income for organized crime,” explained Hackett.

“Clients who utilize these services need to be aware that often the cash being provided to them is from illegal activity, and that using such services provides financial support to criminals and funds their illegal enterprises and operations,” he said.

No Charges Filed Yet

The names of the individuals arrested this week have not been released. Authorities are being very discrete, releasing few details at the moment. Hackett told reporters that, to date, no charges have been filed, and all of the individuals who were arrested are not in police custody at this time.

The CFSEU does expect more arrests to come, and that charges will be assessed. Multiple counts of drug trafficking, money laundering, proceeds of crime and affiliation with organized crime are all possible.

Involved BC Casinos Unnamed

Hackett also declined to reveal the specific BC casinos in which the money laundering allegedly took place. He did, however, claim that three or four illegal gambling houses had been identified. The CFSEU official confirmed that a search warrant was executed on at least one of those operations, located in Richmond, Monday evening.

Law enforcement officers have search six homes in connection with the BC casinos money laundering case so far. In the process, they’ve confiscated an abundance of evidence, including bank drafts, cash, cell phones, computers, drug paraphernalia, and a number of luxury vehicles. On of the vehicles is said to have been equipped with a hidden compartment, but no word on what—if anything—was found within.

Investigation Continues

For now, the investigation is still underway. Until charges have been officially filed, authorities are reluctant to issue any further details.

The investigation is being conducted by a new branch of the CFSEU, the Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team (JIGIT). That branch works in tandem with members of BC’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB).

Authorities are urging anyone with information relating to the organized crime group or the multi-million dollar money laundering scheme through BC casinos to contact the JIGIT at 778-290-2288, or leave an anonymous tip with the Canada Crime Stoppers Association.

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