CA Diplomat in Dangerous Macau Casino Deal

By Ben Hamill - August 15 2018
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A Macau Casino's floor filled with slot machines

A former Canadian government ambassador has reportedly been linked to a risky investment in a Macau casino’s VIP room. The room in question seems to have been leased from notorious Hong Kong-based gambling mogul Stanley Ho.

The federal diplomat allegedly received monthly payouts in cash, which were delivered to him by hand in Vancouver, as part of a ‘dangerous’ business scheme that could have led to Canada Revenue Agency prosecutions, according to data on the matter.

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Bell Denies Links with Ho

The Canadian foreign affairs employee, John Peter Bell, served in many notable posts during his career. He acted as an ambassador to Malaysia before going into business indirectly with Ho, who is a gambling tycoon that has been clearly tied to organised crime in China for decades.

Bell also acted as the chief federal negotiator for Canada’s BC First Nations land claims, according to local records. He filled this role at the same time during which he entered into the Macau business agreement. However, Bell has denied the allegations against him, stating that he did not invest directly with Stanley Ho in Macau, but rather offered a $375,000 loan to a consortium of the businessman’s VIP room investors, one of which happens to be Bell’s cousin.

Upon being asked about the venture, Bell stated that he couldn’t say much about the VIP room. According to him, all he knows is the consortium of business people who funded the venture, and that every month they earned a return and paid it out to him.

Hong Kong-based gambling mogul Stanley HoHong Kong-based gambling mogul Stanley Ho

Case ‘Worthy of Investigation’

On further investigation, news agencies reviewed various affidavits and evidence filed to the BC Supreme Court, including accounting, legal and banking records created between 2000 and 2011. Emails and corporate and government records were also assessed.

Upon this review, Transparency International Canada’s Denis Meunier (a former director of the anti-money laundering firm Fintrac and also the CRA’s criminal investigations department) noted that he has never before seen a case in which a local investor earned profits from VIP casino rooms in Macau.

Furthermore, as BC citizens try to comprehend how Macau-style VIP gaming has led to massive rates of money laundering in British Columbian casinos, the case’s evidence has certainly raised some warning signs worthy of investigation, he said. In related news, BC Attorney General Eby has also asked German authorities to investigate how Macau-style money laundering schemes are linked to money laundering in the BC real estate market.

The popular Casino Lisboa, owned by HoThe popular Casino Lisboa, owned by Ho

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