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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Southeast Kootenay school district set to reopen next week

Individual schools have creative timetables and schedules in order to adhere to public health orders

George Morris turns 99

Friends, family and neighbours gathered outside at Terra Lee Terraces in Cranbrook… Continue reading

Rotarians at work at Fred Scott Villas

Members of the Cranbrook Rotary Club, along with some key community volunteers,… Continue reading

The Weed Warrior: an invasive weed, new to the East Kootenay

Wild Parsnip is a plant that most of us don’t want to have a Close Encounter of any Kind with

Possible Kermode Bear spotted near Castlegar

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run on May 27

WATCH: Cranbrook Farmer’s Market kicks off 2020 season

The first market of the year took place on Saturday, May 30.

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read