In the years that billions of illicit cash washed through British Columbia’s economy, federal RCMP investigators on Canada’s West Coast rarely pursued how criminals were robbing their money in their highest priority cases.
A recent internal RCMP review shared with BC’s Cullen Commission showed that between 2013 and 2016, federal mountains working in the province on financial, cyber and serious and organized crime investigations only considered whether their 37 One of the cases involved money laundering.
These RCMP units pursued money laundering in less than half of these cases until 2017 and 2018, pursuing crime proceedings or seizing assets in only 6 percent of the 32 investigations conducted at the time, the investigation reported .
Members of the RCMP for more than three decades, who now lead financial crime teams in BC, told the investigation that dealing with money laundering is a problem for investigators across Canada.
“Recently testified,” each region has its own challenges, whether it be a reintroduction issue or simply having multiple targets to go through. “They are trying to do the best they can for the purposes of making Canada safe.”
Nationally, money laundering was investigated under half of all these cases between 2013 and 2016 and about 22 percent of investigations were conducted over the next two years.
Kalin commission testimony indicates that RCMP officers in British Columbia were slammed with competing priorities, dedicating everything from officers to wildfires to pipeline protests. Despite this, money laundering was one of the federal RCMP’s stated priorities during the past decade when lurid details of hockey bags of $ 20 bills – the lingua franca of B.C.’s drug trade – regularly in Vancouver-area casinos Being empty and cash transactions for everything. From mansion to supercar and baby grand piano.
The BC government struck down the commission when, nine months later, the second-highest ranking officer in the force, the deputy commissioner, issued an internal directive in February, 2020, ordering all major crime units to consider proceedings for money laundering or crime charges gave. Out of their investigation.
Mountaineer in Ottawa, superintendent Peter Payne, who oversees all of the agency’s financial crime units, told the commission that this recombination was followed by two reviews when expert RMMP investigators found that they were committing money laundering crimes at a rate Were not considering “as we would have liked.”
To pounce Taylor said it is often difficult to follow the money when authorities are targeting international criminal networks for drugs and may have to publicly arrest someone for protection.
However, he agreed that “you do not take 100 percent of the shots you took” to underline that money laundering was ignored in these files.
To pounce Taylor said he estimated that $ 6 million of the $ 100 million annual budget was devoted to solving complex money-laundering crimes in the province. But he said the force is obliged under its policing contract with the province to offer mountains in times of crisis – a trend that has become more common in recent years.
“We have seen unprecedented years where we have significant forests and we have also addressed issues with those who express concern over rights to the land and the environment, regarding the pipelines being built in the province.” Told last month.
“And right now, we are in the midst of an epidemic, and federal resources are being asked to assist the Public Health Agency of Canada regarding tracking and tracing and to ensure that people are kind to each other.”
For more than two years, BC’s NDP government has been pressuring the federal Liberal government to bring more RCMP officials to the West to investigate how billions have been looted through various regions in the province. Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has promised that the force is working to restore its ability to solve money laundering cases after the Conservative government closed a dozen special income-of-crime units in 2013 .
The commission heard that these cuts, made nearly a decade ago, disintegrated a “strong” unified unit of 55 people, with its various investigators disintegrating in other corners of the force or abandoning policing altogether for other occasions. None of the middle-level officials testified before the commission as to how many officers are needed to deal with money laundering in B.C.
Last November, BC’s Attorney-General David Eb told The Globe and Mail that no new RCMP resources had been added to this front In the last year and a half. In 2019, former mountain Peter German found a skeleton of five people working in these cases.
The staff picture is much better today, RCMP leaders told the commission.
One team focuses on more local matters and works with its partner agencies across the country, while the other targets those who wash away money tied to foreign criminal networks or other global actors and agencies such as the FBI Make contact with Inspector Tony Farahbakhshian, who led both of these units, said they could combine for larger investigations when they might have to do complex tasks such as monitoring multiple targets.
Together, they employ 38 mountains, which have 18 active cases, the commission heard. Six posts remain vacant.
To pounce Payne said five additional money-laundering investigators have been added to new or existing teams in these four provinces: Alberta, BC, Ontario and Quebec.
Senior commission counsel Brock Martland pressed Sappat. It should be noted whether the commitment of the five new RCMP officials in BC was just a “drop in the bucket” of the numbers needed to tighten the dirty money in the province.
“Well, it’s still an improvement,” Supt. Payne replied.
But former mountain Wayne Rideout, now the director of BC, who oversees all law enforcement in the province, said these five officers would make no difference in terms of the RCMP’s ability to solve this sophisticated crime.
“Rideout told the commission that moving these cases forward is very complex and uses many investigators over a long period of time.”
“So for me, what I currently know is really close to enough.”
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