Why Eby shouldn’t wait for the second German report to call a public inquiry in BC
With today’s report from Sam Cooper, the German report continues to be undermined if not torn to shreds by the allegations of whistle-blowers from the casino industry in BC. And one big name mentioned in prior stories, has been selling stock shares in the casino company he works for… https://globalnews.ca/news/4927549/bclc-former-casino-investigators-bc-money-laundering/
For f*cks sake. This is exactly why many called foul on certain aspects of the German report. Like this: https://globalnews.ca/news/4508431/exclusive-b-c-casino-review-contractor-previously-consulted-for-river-rock-casino/
“An anti-money laundering expert hired for B.C.’s “arms-length” probe into casino money laundering was previously hired to work for Great Canadian Gaming, the company at the centre of the probe, according to documents and sources.
Documents obtained by Global News and source interviews indicate that, Jerome Malysh — a former RCMP financial crimes investigator — was hired as a consultant to complete compliance audit work for Great Canadian by Robert Kroeker, the gaming company’s former director of corporate security and compliance.
Kroeker left Great Canadian Gaming in 2015, to become B.C. Lottery Corp.’s vice-president of corporate compliance.
After September 2017 Malysh was also hired by Peter German, a former RCMP executive, to complete work for German’s March 2018 report, Dirty Money: An Independent Review of Money Laundering in Lower Mainland Casinos…..
….German cited Malysh’s previous work for B.C.’s Gaming Enforcement Branch. But there is no known mention of Malysh’s previous work for a casino company.
Some critics have raised questions about Malysh’s participation in German’s report. The critics, including current Lottery Corp. staff, wonder if German’s report “minimized” the role of River Rock staff in the acceptance of bags of suspicious cash.
Some critics are alleging that British Columbia’s independent probe of casino money laundering was compromised because reviewer Peter German sits on the board of Richmond’s Olympic Oval with the Great Canadian Gaming executive who is responsible for River Rock Casino’s troubled VIP gaming program.
But there was no conflict, German said in an exclusive interview with Global News, despite his decision not to interview Walter Soo, the man who built River Rock’s extremely profitable VIP betting business.
Asked whether German had disclosed to Attorney General David Eby, the relationship to Soo, German said there was no conflict to report.
“I’m not aware of any conflict,” German said.
Walter Soo , is the man who was in charge of ” River Rock’s ultra-lucrative VIP gambler program — which relied on private high-limit betting rooms, large cash transactions, and cultivation of wealthy Chinese patrons — was developed and run by Great Canadian executive Walter Soo. Soo is reportedly no longer working at River Rock, but is in Toronto, working to set up Great Canadian’s new gaming programs at Woodbine Casino.”
That’s why when his name came across my screen today on insider trading updates, I took note: https://www.fairfieldcurrent.com/news/2019/02/07/walter-soo-sells-5000-shares-of-great-canadian-gaming-corp-gc-stock.html
Hmm. Not huge share amounts sold by most means, but notable as we look to even more revelations with the coming feature on W5, Saturday. Does Walter routinely sell shares? Or is Walter trying to offload, little by little, so no one notices…? Does Walter Soo know something we don’t know? Gee too bad Peter German didn’t interview him… https://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/
It’s time for everyone to Stop Whitewashing the Bloodstains from BC’s Dirty Money Laundromat, and call the full Charbonneau style commission I and many others have been calling for, for years. From Sandy’s excellent piece last year: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/06/30/opinion/stop-whitewashing-bloodstains-bcs-dirty-money-laundromat
….Then there was Coleman’s heated attack in 2011 on RCMP Insp. Barry Baxter, referenced in the German report. In response to a news report by CBC’s Eric Rankin about a gusher of suspicious cash transactions at Metro Vancouver casinos, Baxter stated the obvious. “We’re suspicious that it’s dirty money, and anybody—the common person would say this stinks. There’s no doubt about it.” (Bonus points if you spotted the link between this quote and German’s report title).
Coleman’s response was angry, personal, and it was false.
“Yeah, I know what he said, and I don’t agree with him and neither do all the superiors of his in the RCMP,” Coleman told the CBC.
Yet not only did Baxter’s RCMP superiors agree with him, his statement was expressly pre-approved by their communications office. Moreover, Coleman was well aware of the money-laundering issue in casinos because, according to Rankin’s reporting, the RCMP had informed him of it months earlier.
Why would Coleman personally attack a senior policing expert in the media, a man who was informing the public of the likelihood of money-laundering activity in casinos? Why would he try to mislead the public about the RCMP’s expert opinion, and even what he himself knew?
Did Coleman have any role in Joe Schalk’s firing?
My post tonight was prompted by a discussion I had recently with a green enviro former backroom NDPer type who messaged me out of the blue following Malcomsons win in Nanaimo:
” An inquiry won’t save lives or solve much in my opinion,although I am not opposed to doing so, just more inclined to push government to actually do stuff while they still have power instead of sorting out someone elses mess to no particular end while wasting precious time..”
That statement caught me completely off guard then and hasn’t left me since. Why? His statement ( and I am sure he will never speak to me candidly now for sharing this, but this matters) is one I have seen expressed by others, in different words, in difference venues…and it doesn’t have to be one or the other. It must be both, because corruption costs all of us. In tax dollars fighting crime, drug smuggling and lives.
I honestly think the inner circle in the NDP, the real power brokers behind the mla’s you all elected, are sitting there trying to weigh whether the cost and time involved in a credible arms length,Charbonneau style commission will win enough votes to win a majority government or whether daycare and new walk in urgent care centres will do the job….
You might hate me for saying that, but it’s true. And I think in your heart, you know it’s the only right thing to do. So, I leave you with a few words from Sandys piece linked to above. Because I’m not ready to make nice either.
” There’s a more insidious danger when we brush off the glaring issues that German’s report exposes. Unseen forces can exert powerful influence on public officials, diverting policy and investigations to benefit unknown interests. This is the threat of public corruption. Once a public official crosses the line, they are no longer working for the public, but are using their public office to work for someone else.
Obviously there is not enough information here to draw conclusions, but the warning signs are unmistakable. Ignoring them is not an option.
Only a Charbonneau style inquiry, with subpoena powers and teeth, will restore public confidence in the integrity of the system and our government leadership. Too many governments have foundered on the gambling shoal for us to accept more platitudes from anyone.
Mr. Eby, Premier Horgan, and Mr. Wilkinson, this is a moment of truth. You must, each of you, act.
Don’t try to bury this.
The grave is too shallow, and it’s already full.