David Eby, Attorney General, has issued the following statement in response to the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia (the Cullen Commission):
“I would like to thank Commissioner Cullen and his dedicated team for delivering the final report of the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in B.C.
“The findings of this commission validate the concerns of many British Columbians. They were right to be worried and right to be demanding action on money laundering. The commissioner’s finding, after more than a year of study, that the volume of money laundering in our province is ‘enormous’ is profoundly concerning. It is also well grounded in testimony from police, experts in the field and direct research. This important conclusion and the commission’s connection of money laundering to violent crime and the illicit and poisoned drug trade also confirms our government’s reasons for taking action, and the need for further efforts from governments, regulators and businesses.
“The commission has confirmed there was a serious and decade-long problem of organized crime laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in B.C. casinos, and that it was the work of our government in 2017 that uncovered this for the public and ended this criminality. I am proud of our response, and grateful for the support of colleagues, including then-minister of finance Carole James and Premier John Horgan who supported what needed to be done in our casinos, even though those actions jeopardized provincial revenue.
“Our government has continued work on anti-money laundering measures based on previous reports, and much of this work overlaps with the commission’s recommendations. Our government will evaluate these new recommendations from the commissioner and co-ordinate them with the work government already has underway, in particular in relation to housing and real estate.
“I am appreciative of Canada’s participation in this inquiry. This report is important for the federal government too. It contains significant and challenging findings and calls to action for our federal government. I hope and expect that the new federal minister with responsibility for this file will join with us in addressing this important shared challenge.
“I believe these recommendations will help us to transform the meaning of the ‘Vancouver model’ from a description of unchecked dirty money moving through our casinos to a model of governments responding forcefully to the threat of money laundering. I look forward to working on these reforms with my colleagues both inside and outside government, and all British Columbians.”
To read the final report, visit: https://cullencommission.ca/files/reports/CullenCommission-FinalReport-Full.pdf