In the most recent drama episode of Tuesday’s public inquiry into money laundering, Emotions got the best of former British Columbia Lottery Corporation vice president Robert Kroeker. On his second day of testimony, Kroeker’s voice cracked as he described his experience and politics when, not long ago, he was vice president of the Crown Corporation.
During his testimony on Tuesday, the former VP of BCLC required some time to recollect his thoughts and contain his emotions. But even after knowing about them, his voice still cracked a few times from the emotions of how the corporation deals with the recurring money laundering activities. In order not to be able to respond to these money laundering activities, he described his experience as “devastating” for both him and his team.
Former Mountie and gaming investigator Larry Vander Graaf made the bold claim last November that the British Columbia-based corporation did not react in time more than a decade ago to protect the integrity of the gaming industry from certain schemes of money laundering. Since 2007, major and suspicious sums of cash have been used in local casinos, in his words.
Kroeker stated in his testimony that he received a presentation on suspicious big-figure amounts used in various casinos in the province on the first day of the company as Vice-President in 2015. He also claimed that he checked a document back then that had details on operatives of the corporation who were reluctant to address police concerns about such suspicious activities.
B.C. Government lawyer Jacqueline Hughes questioned if the BCLC was aware of the use of the enormous amounts of money in cash on the premises of the casinos at that time, to which Kroeker replied positively. It is believed that the corporation had concerns that if the media knew about the ongoing illegal activity, it would not be the best for publicity.
On Monday, Kroeker reported that in 2017, in the anti-corruption cases, Attorney General David Eby began to appear detached. At first, Eby’s office declined to comment on the situation, but the office commented in a statement on Tuesday that the actions of the government to deal with money laundering activities “speak for itself.” Kroeker considers that the problem of money laundering in B.C. The two main parties have used the province as a tool to criticize one another.
As reported on Monday, Robert Kroeker testified that Attorney-General David Eby began to look more and more disinterested in the gambling industry’s fight against illegal activities. In a 2017 briefing on the subject of anti-money laundering operations, the former VP of BCLC said he noticed Eby’s indifference. Kroeker added that even a report by an anti-money laundering official, purely on the base of the specialist’s name, was disparaged by the Attorney General.
After 2010, organized Asian crime groups became too strong after another hearing by the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, which made the investigations risky for the authorities back then. This was done with the help of casino officials, with reports of Asian gang members being able to launder around CA$200 million annually, and apparently also using large amounts of money bags consisting of CA$20 bills.