Former B.C. cabinet minister denies saying government knew about casino crime

Former BC Liberal Gaming Minister Kash Heed disputes testimony of former gaming investigator Fred Pinnock, denies he ever said the BC Liberal government knew about massive money laundering through casinos they regulated.

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — A former cabinet minister denies telling a gaming investigator that members of the B.C. Liberal government knew about illegal activities at casinos and were doing little to prevent the crimes.

Kash Heed told a public inquiry into money laundering that he recalls a lunch in Victoria in 2009 with former gaming investigator Fred Pinnock, but his recollection of the meeting differs from Pinnock's.

Pinnock testified last fall that he met with Heed in November 2009 shortly after he was appointed solicitor general to raise concerns about large amounts of suspicious cash that were likely linked to organized crime at B.C. casinos.

Pinnock, a former RCMP officer who once led its now-disbanded integrated illegal gaming enforcement team, said he was shocked when Heed told him the gaming minister at the time, Rich Coleman, was more concerned about making money for the government than fighting casino crime.

Heed, who is also a former chief of the West Vancouver Police Department, said today he didn't make such a comment.

Coleman testified earlier this week that he never put gaming profits ahead of fighting crime at casinos.

The NDP government called the inquiry in 2019 after three reports outlined how B.C.'s real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors were being used to launder illegal cash.

 

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