Two top ex-Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers have questioned the will of Ontario’s gambling operators and state regulators to address an increase in suspicious casino transactions.
The significance of the increase of 2022’s yearly total to CA$372m ($275m) is two-fold: 1) a lot of money is involved, and 2) suspicious casino transactions have climbed to levels higher than pre-pandemic.
The upward spike has lawyer and ex-RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German and former RCMP transnational crime investigator Cal Chrustie asking hard questions.
the big sums of money “are illicit funds”
Chrustie, who saw plenty of money laundering crimes during his time in Mountie red, said he believed the big sums of money “are illicit funds.” The former investigator said an in-depth investigation into each suspicious transaction would reveal what’s behind the large sums of money.
German concurred, saying the figures and transactions needed to be examined closely and assessed. The ex-Mountie also said it was important that the regulator follow up.
CTV News cited German as adding: “it wasn’t good enough” that operators file suspicious transaction reports with the RCMP while simultaneously “washing their hands” of the business.
“That’s what we saw in B.C.,” said German, who has written an industry-shaking report on money laundering in British Columbia casinos. He said that because of the volume of suspicious transactions reports, he and officials like him were so overwhelmed they “didn’t look at 99 per cent of those transactions.”