A former RCMP officer said a member of the British Columbia legislature told him in 2009 that the gaming minister was focused on revenues generated at casinos, not organized crime.
Fred Pinnock, who was in charge of the illegal gaming enforcement team at the time, told an inquiry into money laundering in Vancouver on Thursday (Nov. 5) that he met with then-solicitor general Kash Heed, who he had known through policing circles for 35 years.
Pinnock said Heed told him his concerns about illegal activities were legitimate, but that Rich Coleman, who was the gaming minister, was “all about the money.”
The former Mountie testified that Heed mentioned Coleman was “largely responsible” for problems at casinos and named three or four senior RCMP officers who were complicit as “puppets for Coleman.”
Pinnock testified that he was dating a newly elected member of the legislature who tried to speak to Coleman about arranging a meeting with him on “out-of-control organized criminal activity” at casinos, but the minister was dismissive.
The B.C. government launched the inquiry after reports outlined how illegal cash was helping to fuel the real estate, luxury car and gambling sectors in the province.
Pinnock said he more recently met with Heed, who repeated what he had said years earlier.