Cullen Commission Fails To Provide Evidence
The Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia has now largely concluded its investigation of the province’s casinos and gambling sector stakeholders. But after six weeks of testimony, the commission has not heard any irrefutable evidence on whether or not the massive amounts of cash accepted by B.C.’s casinos over the course of recent years were the result of outright corrupt activities.
What the commissioner did however hear, was testimony clearly indicating regulatory failures and ineffective law enforcement by police and government officials alike. Bureaucratic processes and responses on a general slow-go, gross miscommunication, and ignorance on a large scale, all came prominently to the fore also.
Commissioner Austin Cullen is due to deliver his final report sometime later this year, thereby hopefully fulfilling his mandate of having determined the extent and the progression, or evolution, of money laundering across a total of six sectors of the local economy.
RCMP And Politicians Called
There are however two groups due to deliver testimony remaining: the politicians responsible for overseeing gambling in the province, and local law enforcement authorities. But since neither group is actually subject to the inquiry’s prime mandate, both may prove unusually problematic to the end of the inquiry fully completing its mandate.
Also significant is the fact that the commission had only been able to determine whatever it was people were willing to reveal. Cullen prior to the July 2019 commencement of the inquiry cautioned the general public over what could be expected of the commission, the investigation, and the overall outcome, saying that the very nature of money laundering activities is one of secrecy and a wilful attempt to erase all and any evidence of wrongdoing.
What the commission has however been particularly effective at, is opening the eyes of the public to the ghastly underworld of dirty money, and specifically within the context of the casino industry.
The inquiry is next expected to call to the testimony booth those ministers who were responsible for gambling in British Columbia between 2008 and 2014. The four ministers in question are Rich Coleman, Michael De Jong, John van Dongen, and Shirley Bond. It remains to be seen what the levels of cooperation will be in this regard.
Once the commission has completely finished delving into the money laundering ins and outs of the gambling industry, it will then turn its attentions to the real estate sector.