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

Man sentenced for setting apartment barbecue on fire in Abbotsford

Michael Rodden climbed to second-storey balcony in March 2019

How do you hold a public hearing when public gatherings are banned?

City of Abbotsford discussing how to hold hearings with appropriate social distancing

Abbotsford golf courses remain open during COVID-19 pandemic

Ledgeview, Fraserglen and Valley Golf institute safety policies to fight coronavirus

120 more recreation staff laid off by City of Abbotsford

Job cuts from closure of public facilities, city will re-hire after health emergency passes

400 people assessed for COVID-19 at Abbotsford centre

Website and centre have been running for over a week

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

BC Hockey, Vancouver Canucks encourage stick tapping to honour frontline health care workers

Families are encouraged to video themselves tapping their sticks at 7 p.m. and post to social media

Most Read