Commissioner Austin Cullen, back centre, listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. A former British Columbia gaming policy official says the concerns about increasing amounts of suspicious cash and its possible links to money laundering at casinos started rising as the province was preparing to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Commissioner Austin Cullen, back centre, listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. A former British Columbia gaming policy official says the concerns about increasing amounts of suspicious cash and its possible links to money laundering at casinos started rising as the province was preparing to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Inquiry hears money laundering concerns at B.C. casinos rose as 2010 Olympics neared

Larry Vander Graaf told the public inquiry into money laundering there was an increase in suspected illegal money

A former British Columbia gaming official says concerns were raised as larger amounts of suspicious cash with possible links to money laundering began showing up at casinos while the province prepared to host the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Larry Vander Graaf told the public inquiry into money laundering there was an increase in suspected illegal money at casinos at the same time the RCMP was preparing to mount Canada’s largest-ever security effort to police the Olympics.

The former executive director of the B.C. Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch says staffing issues on the policing side were evident as the RCMP prepared for the Games, but serious concerns were also appearing at casinos.

Vander Graaf says investigators started noticing more suspicious cash at casinos beyond lone-sharking activities in 2007, and by 2010 the casinos were “like a drive-in” where bags of $20 bills were being delivered to parking lots.

He says he started raising concerns that B.C. casinos were being used as vehicles for money laundering because people were buying $10,000 worth of gaming chips with bundles of $20 bills wrapped in elastic bands.

The B.C. government launched a public inquiry following several reports that concluded hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal cash was fuelling B.C.’s real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

money laundering

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Phyllis Stenson, a mainstay of the local arts scene and the Harrison Festival of the Arts, passed away earlier this month. Stenson was crucial in setting up the foundation for relationships, funding and more that continue even now to echo well past her retirement in 2013. (Contributed Photo/Harrison Festival Society)
Harrison Festival, Fraser Valley arts icon Phyllis Stenson mourned

Stenson passed away in late November, leaving lasting legacy of passion for the arts behind

Construction is expected to start in March of 2021 on 23 new rental homes funded by the provincial government’s Community Housing Fund. (Metro Creative photo)
Province announces rental home project in Chilliwack paid for by Community Housing Fund

Twenty three homes for Indigenous families are planned in partnership with Tzeachten First Nation

Canadian Red Cross staff engaged in a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing training exercise. (Luc Alary / Canadian Red Cross)
Red Cross canvassers following PHO guidelines while going door-to-door

Canvassers using safety protocols including masks and distancing to continue organization’s efforts

Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl, pictured here in 2017, has harsh words about the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl says Liberal government is leaving millions of Canadians behind

Strahl delivered a blistering critique of the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

Most Read