VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C.’s Attorney General is not ruling out the idea of prosecutors approving criminal charges as more shocking accusations are made about dirty money being laundered in casinos.
David Eby says he wants to talk to the former head of the Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team (IIGET). The group was dismantled in 2009 shortly after Fred Pinnock repeatedly alerted authorities about suspicious behaviour.
“We’re taking this new information from Mr. Pinnock and we’ll be reaching out to him and try to find a way to ensure that we can provide him with an opportunity to bring forward the serious allegations that he has and those that he’s naming a chance to respond,” Eby says.
Pressure has been mounting to expose those responsible for dismantling the IIGET shortly after Pinnock stepped down as the head of the force.
B.C. Premier John Horgan and Eby have indicated a public inquiry could eventually be held.
Eby says at least two RCMP investigations are already underway and any obstruction of justice evidence should be exposed, but he’s not convinced a public inquiry is the best way to do that.
“If Mr. Pinnock or any other member of staff or bureaucracy believe that they were obstructed in a way from doing their job by any individual in a position of power, they should be calling the police and sharing that information with the police.”
Eby insists his priority remains to shut down money launderers as quickly as possible.
Police have already confirmed the decision to shut down the special gaming force did not come from the RCMP, contrary to statements made last month by members of the former BC Liberal government who have been accused of turning a blind eye to concerns raised by gaming investigators.
The report titled “Dirty Money” was released June 27 by former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German.
He determined crime groups, primarily from Asia, laundered drug money later used to buy property in a scheme referred to as the “Vancouver model.”
Eby hired German last year shortly after learning someone at Richmond’s River Rock casino accepted $13.5 million worth of 20-dollar bills from a single gambler during July of 2015.