The following was primarily contributed by an In-Sights reader who prefers to be uncredited:
BC Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson has faced difficult questions in the past about Liberal links to corruption.
Wilkinson once acted for corrupt Chinese tycoon Ni Ritao’s company Sun Wave Forest Products, which breached an agreement to resurrect an abandoned pulp mill, costing the City of Prince Rupert millions of dollars.
A South China Morning Post investigation into the case revealed the businessman lied to a Vancouver court about his convictions for graft and forgery, falsely claiming he had been fully exonerated.
Mr. Wilkinson acted as a lawyer on the matter until March 27, 2012, when Bill Belsey, the vice-president of the B.C. Liberal Party and an employee of Sun Wave, assumed responsibility for the case, according to documents filed in court.
What amazes me about the BC Liberals is their belief that no one, no reporter, no investigator, no amateur sleuth would ever bother to dig deep enough to find the rot.
But the rot keeps surfacing..
During CKNW’s Linda Steele show, Global reporter Sam Cooper responded to several CasinoGate questions. He discussed statements by Fred Pinnock, the former RCMP commander of the RCMP illegal gambling unit in BC.
Among claims of the retired policeman:
- Organized criminal activity was running amok.
- The BC Liberal government, Rich Coleman, top police officials, and the BC gambling regulator all knew of the extent of organized crime’s money laundering in BC.
- They new how the Triads and drug gangs were laundering money.
- They knew what needed to be done to halt it.
Nevertheless, they chose to do almost nothing.
Mr. Cooper did not fault Pinnock’s assertions. Instead, he provided additional details:
…this was all about the revenue. BC Lottery turned a blind eye. Big politicians in the BC Liberals turned a blind eye and the people operating the casinos turned a blind eye…
Mr. Pinnock said he believes that the RCMP’s provincial policing contract was used as a tool by the BC Liberals, or Mr. Coleman, allegedly, it’s been suggested, may have used that so that the RCMP didn’t investigate. If that’s true, that just takes the level of some sort of potential corruption to a level that would have to be dealt with by an independent public inquiry…
…Unless more people go to jail, maybe even white collar people lose their jobs or worse, I don’t believe the problem will go away in BC. It may just hide for a while but if the focus continues to be on revenue flowing in from international wealthy people in BC, this problem won’t go away. It will come back hard.
As the main obstacles to naming names and initiating prosecutions, he cited the threat of lawsuits from BC casinos and provincial government reluctance to act.
Mr. Cooper predicted that as long the Premier waffles and equivocates, money laundering will continue. He says the NDP may be choosing to follow the BC Liberals’ lead, which is to look the other way and use the proceeds of crime as a helpful cash cow.
On the NDP’s resistance to a public inquiry, where the public is vexed by facing continued political hesitation, Cooper said:
…I don’t think they want to let that genie out of the bottle…
It’s my belief that federal prosecutors are still building a case around some of these alleged international criminals…
Is Mr. Cooper hinting that the federal government is preparing to proceed with their own prosecutions, even if BC refuses to act?
Why on earth did John Horgan tell Vaughn Palmer that a deeper provincial investigation isn’t worth either the time or money? Given mounting support for a full inquiry, how can the Premier possibly maintain the same defence now?
If the feds disclose evidence at a future trial that indicates provincial neglect and dereliction in pursuing crimes associated with gambling, what happens to public trust and support for both the BC Liberals and the BC NDP?
The only question might be:
Why did each of the two main BC parties hang themselves with their own noose?
Fred Pinnock has been talking publicly for ten years about the involvement of criminals in BC’s gambling industry. Yet BC politicians feign surprise. Pinnock’s words were noted in this four year old In-Sights article:
Financial fraud-hunter Mark Cohodes has simple advice if the BC Government wants to eliminate money laundering at racetracks and casinos:
Seize assets. Prosecute. Pay whistleblowers.
Cohodes retweeted this frightening item.
You don’t get to this level without a mountain of fraud. Hold onto your hats folks. We’re just scratching the surface with the money launderers. Wait until we get to the homegrown lending frauds. @AlderLaneeggs #VanRE https://t.co/ChubBvIlNC
— Hal Jam (@hal_jam) July 15, 2018