Closing submissions due in B.C. money laundering probe

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 on Monday, February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck. DD

Closing submissions in British Columbia’s public inquiry into money laundering were set to begin Friday before the commission’s final report and recommendations are due Dec. 15.

The Cullen commission concluded testimony last month, hearing from about 200 witnesses including former premier Christy Clark, cabinet ministers, police officers, gaming officials, financial crime experts and academics.

The province’s NDP government appointed B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen in 2019 to lead the inquiry after several reports said the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal cash linked to organized crime affected the province’s real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors.

Attorney General David Eby has said the inquiry was also necessary because it would be able to dig deeper and compel witnesses to testify.

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The closing submissions are set to continue on Monday and Tuesday.

The commission has heard testimony from senior gaming investigators and former police officers who raised concerns more than a decade ago with gaming and government officials about increasing amounts of suspicious cash at Vancouver-area casinos.

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