Skip to content

Cullen Commission Heats up as testimony puts former BC Liberal minister Rich Coleman right into the spotlight.

A former British Columbia RCMP officer testified he was informed in 2009 that Rich Coleman, then-minister responsible for gaming, was “largely responsible” for rampant money laundering related to organized crime in the province’s casinos, and that senior B.C. Mounties were complicit, an inquiry has heard.

Fred Pinnock, former commander of B.C.’s anti-illegal gaming unit, described to the Cullen Commission on Thursday his recollection of allegations that he said then-solicitor general Kash Heed made against Coleman during a private meeting in 2009.


Pinnock recalled the meeting took place over lunch in Victoria.

“I told him I am convinced that Rich Coleman knows what’s going on inside those casinos,” Pinnock recalled. “And Kash Heed confirmed my perception that I was accurate in my belief, and he did feel that Rich Coleman had created this.

“He said to me, in effect, ‘That is what is going on, Fred. But I can’t say that publicly. You know, it’s all about the money.’”

And, according to Pinnock, Heed claimed that Coleman “received the tacit support” of senior B.C. Mounties…. read more at

What was shocking testimony to many in the Cullen Commission yesterday, was of no surprise to long time readers here, and many more following #bcpoli online. I’ve been calling for a Charbonneau style corruption inquiry here on this blog for years,documenting, writing and following this and other bits of government malfeasance. It is my belief, based on stories I have investigated and written over many years, that an extensive network in government, in law enforcement and justice exists just to be able to support this level of corruption.

In fact, its still bizarre that something this wrong was known back in 2009 and earlier, and yet was not largely picked up and hounded on by the media at the time by anyone but Sean Holman, whose work on this provides valuable insight and perhaps evidence. But to make it easier for those of you who are not familiar with the history on record here, and because there is so much material that is relevant, I’m going to round up some essential reading and videos to watch for you, as the Cullen Commission testimony continues.

Please read these links in the order listed, as they contain a chronological history of many reports and videos that the public has largely not seen or read.

April 2016 : A Little Perspective of the BC Liberals Money Laundering announcement ~

  • Link to the 2009 IIGET report warning govt of organized crimes reach into gaming, link to story of govt disbanding that unit months later

June 27, 2018: Money and Corruption Are Ruining the Land, part 2 ~

  • Link to Peter German report, Video of Rich Coleman interview by Sean Holman, minute by minute assessment of Coleman’s answers, links to reports of the time

June 29, 2018: Why Eby Must Call a Public Inquiry and Why the Media Must Not Let it Slide:

  • Compelling argument of tweets from former crown prosecutor Sandy Garossino, other items and her article warning not to whitewash the blood stains from this money laundering.

2019: The Coleman FIles:

  • a chronological list and comparisons of different statements given by Rich Coleman, on video interviews done by Sean Holman, regarding the IIGET, its role and how/why it was disbanded. Contradictions are noted. Links to articles in which he disputes assertions of his own past statements.


Considering all that exists on the record, Rich seems quite cocky if not jovial today, in his statement to Mike Hage…

I’m so glad hes happy about the inquiry, because this means he will be eager to answer questions before the commission.I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to appear by Zoom from a tropical country somewhere….


  1. I have to wonder just how much the real estate industry was party to these decisions?
    The so called ‘Liberals’ have always been the party of the realtors.
    I think we can trace this back to the give away of BC Rail.



    • This is why the limited scope of the inquiry frustrates many.

      Those who believe the criminal element and corruption is limited to money laundering in casinos, real estate, cars, and is centered on Asian gangs and foreign cash, are missing the big picture.
      And yes, the sale of BC rail, how that case was discovered and how and why it went south shouldnt be forgotten. They bought off Basi and Virk for their silence.
      Are we really so innocent to believe that was a one off instance of corruption in govt ? No.

      Look at how long BC has been a major player in production and distribution of cannabis. How drugs are trafficked and brought into our ports and across borders. You cant eradicate all of it, but to not send a message to those assisting the ones breaking the law, is to miss the point. I do hope this inquiry gets into things like horse racing, horse ownership, and people who work the backrooms of Surrey and Langley, and try to get back into power.

      What’s really sad is how dependent every government has become on gaming revenue,so one has to wonder, what ultimately will change and for how long?

      The BC Liberals raising online betting limits in 2009, much to the distate of the ndo opposition critics.

      But then this year in late February, knowing full well we were going into lockdown, raised online betting limits from $9,999 to $250,000 — an increase of 2,400%. They can also transfer up to $100,000 per week, also a substantial 900% increase from the previous $9,999 limit.

      Now that takes the cake. People locked down, liquor availability increases immensely, and people can gamble their savings away.

      Cuz revenue.



  2. Rich Coleman is about 64 years old; was an RCMP officer; he became an MLA in 1996. Oh So many political secrets; from all those responsibilities as Minister of ‘This and Thats’ for the Government of British Columbia. Is it possible that he might just claim under questioning that “I don’t remember.”

    Or, does he have it all stored away on a Cloud, for this future reference, which, according to Elections BC is not permitted… all documents that are under the control of a departing MLA, must be turned over to the IT department for storage, or destruction.

    Click to access Transition-Guide.pdf


  3. This does not come as a surprise, in fact dubious actions at BC Casinos were happening as far back as 2000.

    It is my belief that the BC Liberals, under the then premier, turned a blind eye towards illegal money laundering at casinos and in fact used illegal money laundering as a major provincial revenue generator, to compensate for major tax reductions for the wealthy.

    Campbell and Co. seem to be the Trumps of two decades ago!

    All the subsidiary ills of illegal money laundering has made BC, crime central: gangland shootings happening all too often the massive death count from fentanyl laced drugs; huge increases in family homes and Condos as illegal money laundering is further laundered in BC domestic housing, which in turn leads to homelessness.

    Now, very timidly, the NDP are finding answers, that we all knew and the question is, what are they going to do about it?

    Are they going to charge politicians with malfeasance?

    I doubt it as politicians fear what is sauce for the NDP maybe sauce for the liberals when they get back in power.

    Will they dismantle major crime families?

    No, because the big money behind the drugs and money laundering are too well entrenched in society and many close friends of elected officials.

    Will anything change?

    I doubt it, A new casino is being built in South Delta, so punters don’t have to use the Massey tunnel to River Rock.

    Casino revenue certainly makes local councils look the other way.

    All this inquiry will do is give tattle tale headlines for the local media and the rest of us will go tut, tut, and continue along like nothing very bad happened.

    The sad fact is, the illegal money laundering at BC Casinos has increased political corruption at all levels of government; increased housing prices, contributed to homelessness; driven our transit planning to build metros on routes so affordable, housing is torn down and replaced with high rise condos and towers to further launder illegally laundered money; gangland shooting are commonplace and many not even noteworthy anymore.

    The NDP dragged their feet on this and for good reason, the casino/money laundering/ drug scandal that has afflicted BC has been abetted by both the Liberals and NDP and the taint of corruption continues as a bad odor.

    An aside.

    The surviving drug/cocaine dealers of my youth (I am in my mid 60’s) are now very wealthy, own restaurants, sports teams, golf courses and are deeply involved in real estate. They have become envied citizens of the city I live in.

    In my book, in BC crime pays, if you live, that is.


  4. Keep it up Laila! Now that our interest in the gong show South we can turn our attention to local matters. I’m sure Coleman,, Campbell and Clark employed some very sophisticated measures to hide their ill gotten gains, but they can’t take it with them! May we some day see justice done!


    • We can hope. What bothers me is the acceptance of corruption as ” Just the way things are”.

      Just because the culture has been created for it to exist, doesn’t mean we need to accept it. It comes at a serious cost to society, and to each of us whether we know it or not. What worries me is how many big cases involving drugs have been effectively killed by ‘errors’ etc.

      I can’t say it enough. I have a lot of friends in law enforcement and the legal profession, all very good men and women, and it takes a substantial network within government, within policing and within the justice system for this to perpetuate and grow to the proportions it has.

      I watched an incredible netflix series called Ozark. A must watch if you enjoy the Cullen Commission.

      ” A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug boss.”

      Now, its just a series that involves money laundering through a casino, but let me tell you. I cant even say how many times I yelled out ” OMG its JUST like #BCPOLI” while watching

      Its not what you know… its who you know.


    • Don’t expect to “see justice done”. People forget, then it happens all over again.

      Loved Laila’s line about the H.A. and drugs, upp they’re just a motorcycle club. In my opinion they’re a multi national corporation whose business is amongst other things drugs. The problem began in the 1980s when some cops decided enough was enough and given the H.A. was always so clear about how none of their members had ever been convicted of drug dealing, they did what all good businesses do when things get dicie, the lay off their bets and in the corporate world that is creating franchises. Suddenly we had all sorts of gangs who were involved in the drug trade and things got a tad violent. That in my opinion was franchies fighting over market share. In the mean time people died, homelessness increased the B.C. Lieberals sat on their hands and let it happen. When you have franchises and no quality control over your franchises the produce some times isn’t what it is supposed to be. No one cared until their own kids and friends were dying from the shit they were selling on the streets.


  5. Its interesting that the Cullen Commission gets two minutes ( or less) on the Global 6pm News and then ..crickets….
    I fully expect that Coleman is currently spending a lot if time with lawyers discussing what he can say and what he can deny.
    The average BC Voter that tried to buy a house or condo over the past 20 years and gave up because “off shore” money flooded into the “Vancouver Model”…..cant put two and two together…

    Disgusting doesnt even begin to describe my feelings for Gordon Campbell, Christy Clark and “Rich” Coleman…………


    • This speaks to the reply I gave above, about how many just think ” That’s how things are” . Like, of course there is corruption. Next!!

      Toss in we are in wave 2 that might have had a chance of being slowed down had Bonnie Henry not waited until the day after the election to crack down. And then waited even longer to take the half baked measures everyone is so confused about today. Many are just trying to pay rent, get some food and not go broke, while the other half are carrying on as if Covid didn’t exist.

      Headlines wont last more than a day over this winter I suspect.


      • Exactly. Half Baked is the nice way to put it. That’s why I never shared in that ridiculous worshipping. Don’t understand why so many in the media and press allowed themselves to be over taken and lose their license to be objective. It’s quite entertaining to seem them froth and almost seemingly mess themselves. She’s not getting any accolades from me. She’s being paid the big bucks to do a job, and that’s a mess at best of the times. Sometimes I wonder how much lying is mixed in there. A little, A lot. Little Fibs maybe. Maybe she was okay with the other things she did through her profession and working in Hot Zones in the world which is admirable, but in this job not so good.


    • ” He tried to crush my hand”

      In one of the more bizarre moments in Pinnock’s testimony, the former RCMP officer alleged that Coleman “tried to crush” his hand as an intimidation tactic during a 2010 BC Liberal Party fundraiser.

      “I extended my hand to shake, and he’s a big fellow,” Pinnock said. “He tried to crush my hand. I took that as a message to me.”

      Coleman did not respond to requests for comment from PressProgress about the testimony. The former BC Liberal minister has previously denied that he turned a blind eye to money laundering…”

      Gee. I had almost the exact same experience with a former RCMP member in Surrey. I went to shake his hand and he squeezed hard and refused to let go. I didnt back down and maintained my gaze, and he finally let go. That was at a public event.

      Must be a bad cop thing.


      • come to think about it that thug in Washington D.C. has a thing about handshakes also. Macron apparently has quite the hand shake also and Donnie the thug, backed off the hand shake.


        • Oh he still has his video on Christy clark up, and the video of her talking about him

          Hmmm..why did he delete that video he tweeted to me, I wonder? And Im curious if there is a copy out there anyone might have saved


  6. None of this is a surprise to me at all. The amount of money being laundered via casinos and I’d suggest real estate was huge and the government of the day knew and in my opinion encouraged it. It made them money and it made their friends money and it kept their party coffers full. But really the people of B.C. were O.K. with it, because even though the information was out there, no one except some bloggers were getting pissed about it.

    My question was always, if people going to the casino knew things were very wrong, where the hell were the Richmond RCMP. if the RCMP weren’t around to do anything about it, then some one was telling them not to do something about it, in my opinion. There were smarmy characters hanging around some of those casinos. Now in casinos you do get smarmy characters, but there is smarmy and then there is SMaRMY. The MSM was pretty quiet about all of it until they couldn’t be quiet about it.

    I expect there will be a bare min. of reporting on the enquiry even now because in my opinion this goes a lot further than Big Rich. that 20 yr contract between the B.C. Lieberals/gov. of the day and the RCMP left me with a lot of questions, because we already had some interesting drug problems happening in B.C. Fent. was out there and not much was ever done about that either. It all goes hand in hand, in my opinion.

    In the end Coleman may wear most of this but you can bet others will be praying he keeps his mouth shut and they may even pay him to do so.


  7. Turning a wilfull blind eye to this criminality is in itself corruption. A criminal offence. But you know how this completely useless rigged system is. I’ve always maintained that one sitting govermnment isn’t going see other previous officials get prosecuted for there own future interests and butt covering. It’s all sugar for our ears. It’s politics behind the scenes. For future relations between political party’s on opposite sides of the house and all that.
    But maybe the most we can hope for is a huge over whelming public shaming on the dirty actors responsible for allowing this criminality and the damage it caused for so many innocent citizens.

    Horgan only got this Public Ear Candy Commision going because of public pressure. Unless there’s overwhelming public ear sceeching pushback for criminal trials, well then forget it. And even then it’s doubtful anything would happen The system will just find some way to sweep all away. All that be left is the void be filled for future news media stories and great conversation pieces for awhile. Oh, I hope I’m wrong. How’s that for the cynicism test. I passed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: