Robert Kroeker continues to testify before the Cullen Commission. The province appointed B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen in 2019 to lead the public inquiry into money laundering.
The former VP of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation knew of suspicious activity back in 2015. He had been briefed about possible links to organized crime – even on the first day of his new job!
Breaking down on the stand, he went on to reveal money laundering concerns in the provincial casinos. In his words, he said,
“It’s been devastating, not being able to respond, particularly when I
was at the corporation, and especially for my team. They’re professionals
and to see them continually attacked and maligned, it’s really unfair.”
Kroeker, who was fired as Vice President of Corporate Compliance in 2019, was a tell all witness. He confirmed what Crown corporation knows about illegal cash circulating at casinos. Managers were rampantly violating preventative protocols.
Former gaming investigator and Mountie, Larry Vander Graaf, had previously told the commission that the BCLC did not move to protect casino gaming from organized crime over a decade ago.
In fact, large amounts of suspicious cash started to appear in 2007. A meager few years later, loan sharks with bags of money, likely the proceeds of crime, hung out at casinos.
Kroeker said he had reviewed a document stating that lottery officials appeared unwilling to address police concerns, fearing they could go public. In response, Jaqueline Hughes, a government lawyers, said,
“Certainly by this point BCLC knew there was a concern around
the cash being brought into casinos being proceeds of crime.”
Kroeker testified that Attorney General David Eby seemed uninterested in the lottery corporation’s anti-money laundering efforts in 2017. It was shortly after the New Democrats took power.
According to the Ministry of the Attorney General, Eby would not comment on evidence or the Commission. proceedings.
Meanwhile, Kroeker went on to say that the money laundering issue had become “politically charged.”