Cullen Commission Introduces More Money Laundering Testimonies
The Cullen Commission continues its investigation into allegations of money laundering within the gambling and real estate market segments in British Columbia.
The Cullen Commission was set up in 2019 by the provincial government of British Columbia and has been presided over by supreme court judge Austin Cullen. The reason for the setting up of the commission has been perpetuated by allegations of vast sums of money being laundered by organised crime syndicates in casinos across the province.
Recently, Cullen announced that the former premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, and several current cabinet ministers would be testifying in front of the commission at the end of April.
Following the depositions given by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the commission has turned its attention to the political establishment of the province. Along with Christy Clark, the commission has scheduled an appearance for the former Liberal cabinet ministers Michael de Jong, Kash Heed and Rich Coleman, as well as the party’s provincial leader, Shirley Bond.
According to the commission website, David Eby, the Attorney General of British Columbia, is also scheduled to appear. Eby is known as a critic of the commission, arguing that it could not utilise its authority to pinpoint various money laundering occurrences.
The commission, which was scheduled to wrap up its activities by 31 March, has been given an extension until the end of 2021. This has been done due to the ongoing pandemic, which has hindered investigations and the evidence gathering process. Additionally, all the hearings have now been shifted online as a safety precaution.
BCLC President Fails to Comply
Previous evidence brought to light documents that suggested that Michael Graydon, former president of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, failed to implement the government’s anti-money laundering protocols, to maintain a high revenue flow. Allegedly, Graydon encouraged his colleagues to meet budgetary expectations by promising them more significant bonus incentives.
Additionally, casino executives in British Columbia face allegations that they acted too slowly in light of the suspiciously huge amounts of cash being spent at the province’s casinos. The former CEO of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, Rod Baker, has also been mentioned. He was one of the officials, along with Graydon, that argued that any money laundering investigations would be harmful to the industry.