Ross Alderson was questioned again on Friday after reappearing at the Cullen Commission inquiry into money laundering activities in B.C. casinos on Thursday. As he admitted to making an anonymous complaint against former BCLC official Robert Kroeker in 2019, the former anti-money laundering investigator attempted to justify his actions of leaking information regarding money laundering at casinos.
Justice Austin Cullen heads the Cullen Commission, which was tasked with investigating alleged money laundering activities in the province’s casinos. The investigation has heard testimonies from a number of former Crown corporation’s seniors, as well as government and RCMP officials, so far. By December 15, 2021, the commission must have completed its final report on the case.
Mr. Alderson claimed during last Friday’s online testaments that he made a complaint against Mr. Kroeker in 2019, but the accusation was deemed unsubstantiated because no one else was able to confirm his claim. He explained that the two witnesses that heard Mr. Alderson’s comment about Mr. Kroeker’s proposal to ease the money-laundering measures, did not back him up and denied the claim.
Mr. Alderson said that the witnesses of the comments may be straying from the truth out of fear of losing their jobs. When asked for more information regarding the meeting, he said he didn’t have an exact date and that his notebook would have specifics, but he disposed of it. He indicated that he didn’t want anything from the BCLC in his possession.
Mr. Kroeker, according to the former investigator, encouraged money laundering by stating that it was inevitable and that the government might profit from it by collecting money through casinos. Mr. Kroeker, according to Mr. Alderson, has said something similar on multiple occasions. He continued by saying that he always had suspicions about the big cash transaction in the casinos.
He further claimed that when he became director of anti-money laundering operations in 2015, he was told that the enormous cash transactions were the result of underground banking. He did not, however, agree with the interpretation. He stated that he did not make any accusations against other individuals from the RCMP and the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch because he did not believe it was appropriate to be rude and inform them that they were not performing their duties.
Mr. Alderson claimed on Thursday that he attempted to intervene in a case of a major cash transaction at River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond. The investigator was stopped by the gaming facility’s general manager, who told him that he had no jurisdiction to question casino’s patrons about their sources of income or to intercept transactions.
The commission heard testimonies from former gaming minister Richard Coleman in April, who was also accused of turning a blind eye to illegal money laundering undertakings. He was also accused of manipulating the RCMP and failing to provide adequate police involvement in the investigations. He was also heavily criticized in 2009 for disbanding the anti-illegal gaming unit.