B.C. RCMP and municipal forces have a dedicated unit for illegal gambling. (Black Press).

RCMP says its stretched thin on B.C. money laundering

Financial crimes coexist with gangs, opioids, human trafficking, terrorism

The RCMP has more than five people working on money laundering, which can’t be separated from the range of activities by international organized crime, a spokesman for the B.C. RCMP says.

Assistant Commander Kevin Hackett of the B.C. released a statement in response to B.C. Attorney General David Eby’s claim Monday that the RCMP’s federally funded division has only five people devoted to investigating money laundering and its involvement in B.C. real estate.

The count of five officers actually on duty out of 25 funded positions “was from a snapshot in time and didn’t capture all personnel who are involved in cases where money laundering is a component,” Hackett said. “Federal policing in B.C. currently has in excess of 40 prioritized projects underway, including eight that involve money laundering.

READ MORE: RCMP has ‘no’ dedicated investigators in B.C.

READ MORE: Trudeau government vows to ‘crack down’

Recruiting and retaining forensic accountants, cybercrime experts and other in-demand specialists is also a competitive market internationally, he said.

“This is also at a time when we are dealing with the competing policing priorities, which include terrorism, gang violence, the opioid crisis including fentanyl, missing and murdered women, human trafficking as well as child exploitation and demands for front-line policing resources.”

Eby said Tuesday that his independent investigator Peter German had to ask repeatedly to find out the actual staffing complement, after first being told there were 26 funded positions devoted to B.C.’s situation.

“The time that the snapshot was taken is when we’re facing an international level of criticism in Canada for our failure on anti-money laundering policing,” Eby said. “So it’s hard to think of a worse time.”

Eby released a single chapter of German’s report Monday to put pressure on Ottawa to allocate funds from its latest budget to stepping up organized crime investigations in B.C.

Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton, spokesman for the joint organized crime unit that combines RCMP and municipal police efforts, noted that its illegal gaming investigation team was established three years ago.

“In May 2016, only one month after its creation, the Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team initiated an investigation into the activities of an organized crime group that was allegedly involved in operating an illegal money laundering network,” Hougton said, adding that multiple arrests were made after an investigation lasting almost a year.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nine fires burning in West Kootenay

All fires considered to be lightning caused.

West Kootenay afternoon storms spark fires

Lots of thunder and lightning, and little rain, as system moves through region

PLACE NAMES: Rossland neighbourhoods, Part 1

Early Rossland townsite built on top of mining claims

Webster students find missing man

Man reported missing from his Warfield home Wednesday night

Getting to know you better: Rossland kids spend day with nature

Third annual bio-blitz brings kids more environmental awareness

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read