More testimony from Daryl Tottenham before the Cullen Commission. He says he gave information to several agencies about suspicious cash in casinos, with little concern.
The former police officer and current head of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s anti-money laundering programs was concerned and surprised about the lackluster response from police agencies over suspicious transactions in casinos.
Tottenham had provided information to several law enforcement agencies. In fact, the lottery corporation sent information to police about volumes of potentially illegal cash at B.C.’s casinos. It included suspected individuals and a group associated with the money.
“It was very concerning to me. I was quite surprised we weren’t getting
any response back from law enforcement about taking this any further.”
Tottenham spoke of Fintrac, Canada’s national financial intelligence agency, B.C.’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, the RCMP and local law enforcement agencies all of which had been approached by the lottery corporation.
“We went down that road to…shop out a project to law enforcement and trying to
make a connection to get somebody from law enforcement to engage on a project or target. It was going out to a number of agencies with law enforcement capabilities.”
Apparently, one casino patron cashed in a total of $900,000 in just one day. The patron first bought $450,000 worth of casino chips with small, $20 bills and then purchased $450,000 worth of chips, using $10 to $100 bills later that day.
Nothing happened over this event per the twenty-eight year veteran of the New Westminster Police Department. No official reaction from police was received that any investigation into suspicious cash was underway.
Tottenham agreed with federal government lawyer, Olivia French, that ongoing police investigations are a closely guarded secret. However, as an experienced investigator, he fully expected some indication of responsive police activity.
“From my perspective, I wasn’t seeing any activity based on my years
of running strike teams and doing those kinds of projects.”
Former RCMP officer Fred Pinnock has already testified that a B.C. government cabinet minister told him in 2009 that the province’s gaming minister at the time was aware of organized crime at casinos. However, he was more focused on generating revenues.
As a result, the province’s government launched a public inquiry after getting of reports of illegal cash fuel the local real estate, luxury vehicle and gambling sectors. Three commissioned reports revealed that hundreds of millions of dollars in dirty money have flowed through these businesses.