B.C. Lottery Corporation’s director of anti-money laundering and investigations has quit amid a money laundering scandal involving casinos catering to high rollers from China, theBreaker has learned.
Ross Alderson’s LinkedIn profile shows he left BCLC in December. “Looking for new opportunities. Looking for a new challenge in 2018,” he wrote.
Alderson was the main law enforcement liaison officer between BCLC and the Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team. He did not respond to theBreaker’s request for comment.
theBreaker asked BCLC spokeswoman Laura Piva-Babcock about Alderson’s departure. A reply came from a person at BCLC who signed the media relations email as Lara, with no last name, confirming that Alderson had resigned. She declined to comment on the reason, but said John Karlovcec had taken over on an interim basis.
Alderson oversaw BCLC’s anti-money laundering program from May 2015 to December 2017. Between 2012 and 2015, he managed investigations and security for BCLC’s PlayNow sports betting and poker website.
Alderson’s profile says he was an officer in the Victoria Police Force in Melbourne, Australia from 2001 to 2009.
In its July 2016 report about Richmond’s River Rock Casino Resort, suppressed by the BC Liberals but released last fall by the NDP, MNP found there were inherent conflicts between regulator Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, revenue generator BCLC and the private sector companies that operate the casinos, like River Rock owner Great Canadian Gaming.
A copy of the BCLC’s anti-money laundering chronology says that its information-sharing agreement with the RCMP was suspended at the request of the GPEB in 2016 “without notice or consultation with BCLC.”
“BCLC objected and consulted with RCMP who reinstated. However the (censored by BCLC) between Nov 2016 and Sep 2017 effectively crippling BCLC’s ability to proactively ban organized crime figures.”
Meanwhile, there are still no charges after a June 13, 2017 announcement by the JIGIT/Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit that it arrested nine people. The anti-gang police said they busted an organized crime ring with links to China that was laundering large amounts of money through B.C. casinos. Sgt. Brenda Winpenny told theBreaker on Jan. 8 “when charges are approved, we will put out a release to the media to advise.” She said Crown counsel has not yet received the disclosure package.
Related to the investigation, B.C.’s Civil Forfeiture Office applied last year to seize a $5 million farmland mansion on Sidaway Road in Richmond that operated as an illegal casino.
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