•   
  •   
  •   

Canada‘Pissed off’: How Port Coquitlam’s mayor feels with no money laundering inquiry amid new allegations

22:15  04 may  2019
22:15  04 may  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

Port Moody mayor accused of sexual assault to make first court appearance

Port Moody mayor accused of sexual assault to make first court appearance The assault is alleged to have taken place in April 2015 in Coquitlam while Rob Vagramov was still a city councillor.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West said the latest allegations are further proof the issue needs to move away from 0:45 B.C. mayor Brad West calls for public inquiry into money laundering . WATCH: Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West says it' s time to put an end to the “nightmare” money laundering

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West, who has long called for a public investigation into criminal activity in the province’ s casinos and real estate market, said he was happy the READ MORE: ‘ Pissed off ’: How Port Coquitlam ’ s mayor feels with no money laundering inquiry amid new allegations .

‘Pissed off’: How Port Coquitlam’s mayor feels with no money laundering inquiry amid new allegations© John Lehmann/Globe and Mail/The Canadian Press Chips at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C. in an undated file photo. Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West says the time for a public inquiry is now after the latest allegations of money laundering inside at least one B.C. casino.

British Columbia's continued delays on opening a public inquiry into casino money laundering is proof that the issue must be addressed out in the open, outspoken Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West said Friday.

A series of Global News reports this week brought forward startlingnewallegations that the trouble with organized crime groups laundering money in B.C. casinos dates back to the 1990s.

Coquitlam, B.C., man develops app to counter high gas prices

Coquitlam, B.C., man develops app to counter high gas prices Gilson Tsang's Worth the Drive helps people calculate whether it's worth driving to the U.S. for fuel.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West says it’ s time to put an end to the “nightmare” money laundering situation and launch a public inquiry now. ‘ Pissed off ’: How Port Coquitlam ’ s mayor feels with no money laundering inquiry amid new allegations .

Money laundering is the illegal process of making large amounts of money generated by a criminal activity, such as drug trafficking or terrorist funding, appear to have come from a legitimate source. The money from the criminal activity is considered dirty, and the process " launders " it to make it look clean.

That's when the NDP government introduced baccarat tables and raised betting limits, which were raised further when the BC Liberals took power in 2001.

Speaking on Focus BC Friday, West said the new allegations show that the truth about who knew what and when needs to be exposed as soon as possible.

"What I am is pissed off," he said. "Again, what you have here is clear evidence that a lot of people knew what was going on... and the people responsible for doing something about it, to address the issue, didn’t do anything.

"We need to get this issue out of the hands of the politicians and into the hands of a public inquiry so we can put an end to this nightmare that has been inflicting our province for far too long.”

Whistleblower warned B.C. casino in 2000 of alleged ‘co-operation with organized crime’

Whistleblower warned B.C. casino in 2000 of alleged ‘co-operation with organized crime’ A casino employee concerned about workplace safety informed the company’s founder that she felt staff had to “accept doing business with organized crime."

Kick off ! The mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, announced Monday he was resigning effective immediately following allegations of sexual harassment. That is why I have decided to resign as mayor ," Jensen told a news conference. "I would like to apologize to the women I have offended."

READ MORE: ‘ Pissed off ’ — How Port Coquitlam ’ s mayor feels with no money - laundering inquiry amid new allegations . May not learn anything new : It is no secret that money laundering has had significant impact on the housing market. It’ s also no secret that bags of money have been moved

READ MORE: Former B.C. casino supervisor blows whistle on when Macau-style money laundering may have exploded

West has long called for a public inquiry into money laundering as Global News has exposed ties between Asian crime syndicates and B.C.'s casinos, the real estate industry and the fentanyl crisis.

The latest allegations came from Muriel Labine, a former employee of the Great Canadian Gaming casino in Richmond, B.C. Working as a dealer supervisor, she monitored the integrity of gambling on the casino floor.

Labine said there was a marked increase in VIP gamblers and high rollers coming into the casinos in May 1997, after the then-NDP government increased bet limits from $25 to $500 per hand.

Documents show the casino's revenue nearly doubled in just two months after the increases came into effect.

Betting limits were regularly increased until they reached $100,000 under the Liberals in 2015.

Vancouver's Parq casino looks to refinance amid debt pressure

Vancouver's Parq casino looks to refinance amid debt pressure The company that owns Parq Vancouver, which opened in 2017, has deferred payment on a loan twice.

' Pissed off ': How Port Coquitlam ' s mayor feels with no money laundering inquiry amid new allegations . A casino employee concerned about workplace safety informed the company’ s founder that she felt staff had to “accept doing business with organized crime."

CBS Miami' s Carey Codd reports on the mayor of Hallandale Beach under arrested and facing serious charges.

Government documents reviewed by Global News show gaming revenue going directly to the B.C. government was roughly $284 million in 1996, but later spiked by an average of $70 million per year before reaching $1.08 billion in 2007.

Revenue continued to increase until it reached $1.4 billion this year.

West said that revenue could be a big reason why the province is hesitating on calling a public inquiry.

"I think the truth is there's a number of people who are in positions of responsibility who did know what was going on, who saw the bags of cash but they looked the other way because for a lot of folks this was the golden goose," he said.

READ MORE: Whistleblower warned B.C. casino in 2000 of alleged ‘co-operation with organized crime’

"As long as the money kept flowing, they weren't really interested in asking the questions of where those $20 bills, where those hockey bags of $20 bills were coming from," West added, referencing specific allegations made by Labine.

"I think you need to follow the evidence, and wherever that lies, we should go."

B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver agrees.

Weak rules have made Canada a magnet for money laundering: Don Pittis

Weak rules have made Canada a magnet for money laundering: Don Pittis A C.D.Howe Institute report says that in Canada 99 per cent of money launderers are never punished. But beneficial ownership rules and prison penalties could change that.

INQUIRER .net. Загрузка RCBC treasurer resigns amid money laundering scandal - Продолжительность: 1:31 ABS-CBN News 14 480 просмотров.

South African businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe says she was never involved in money laundering to finance a coup Botswana. It' s alleged that she had been

"More than ever we need a public inquiry," he said in the wake of this week's reports.

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson, meanwhile, said a public inquiry would impede prosecutions and the process of putting away "the bad guys" — that, he said, is what the public truly wants.

WATCH: Who should be held accountable in money laundering scandal?

But West pushed back on that assertion, saying the Charbonneau Commission worked hand-in-hand with prosecutors to not only expose corruption in Quebec's construction industry, but also lay charges and convictions against several direct players, including politicians.

Investigators behind those convictions said they relied directly on testimony delivered during the public inquiry.

READ MORE: Reports that casino money laundering dates to 1990s more proof public inquiry is needed: B.C. Greens

"Mr. Wilkinson knows that, so he's incorrect, and I'm only left to guess as to why he would continue to say something that is false," West said.

"I think many people in his party are scared of a public inquiry, quite frankly."

Premier John Horgan said his government is taking the allegations seriously and is working to "clean up" the casino industry, but added he doesn't "see the value" of "going back two, three decades — or two decades, in this case — and saying, ‘Hey, that’s where it started.'”

West said that's precisely what needs to happen in order to ensure money laundering is stamped out in the province, and supports reaching back as far as necessary to find the proper evidence.

“If you don’t know the full extent of what happened, how it happened, and why it happened, how are you ever going to be able to adequately fix this and make sure it doesn’t happen in the future?" he asked.

"That is the key, and what we have seen so far is that government really doesn’t have a handle on any of those questions.”

—With files from Richard Zussman, Sam Cooper, John Hua and Keith Baldrey

Read more

Why criminals look to Canada to launder their money through real estate.
News that some $5 billion was laundered through British Columbia's real estate market in 2018 comes as no surprise to experts, as Canada's weak money-laundering laws make it an attractive spot to park ill-gotten cash. Kevin Comeau, author of a recent C.D. Howe report on money laundering, says people in corruption-prone states who seek to hide the source of their wealth can't just buy a big house in their community, so they often look to cache it  abroad. "Autocracies, kleptocracies, developing and transitioning nations — they’ve got corruption from politicians and they’ve got crime from drugs and human trafficking.

usr: 3
This is interesting!