THE Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team (JIGIT) of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) has arrested a male and female and conducted several search warrants in relation to an investigation into loan-sharking and money laundering.
In August 2019, the CFSEU-BC’s JIGIT began an investigation into the alleged loan-sharking and money laundering activity of a male and female related to criminal interest rates and the operation of a money service business contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA).
Over the course of the investigation evidence was gathered indicating that the suspects allegedly laundered over $828,000. The investigation progressed to the point where on November 5 this year the CFSEU-BC JIGIT executed a number of search warrants on properties in Richmond and Burnaby. Search warrants were also executed on three vehicles associated to the investigation.
The search warrants resulted in a number of items being seized that are believed to be associated with money laundering and loan-sharking. Items seized included:
- Score sheets with client names and payment due dates;
- Four cellular phones;
- Two bank drafts totalling $50,000;
- $10,680 in Canadian cash; and
- Three high-end vehicles.
A 33-year-old female from Richmond and a 49-year-old male from Vancouver were arrested and the investigation is ongoing.
“CFSEU-BC continues to target all aspects of criminal activities, including money laundering and loan-sharking, as a part of a coordinated organized crime enforcement strategy in B.C. Illegal gaming activities undermine the integrity of our financial institutions and allow criminals to secure the proceeds of crime not just for personal benefit but to fuel additional crimes. Enforcement action such as this one has a strong immediate impact and long-term disruption implications,” said Inspector Mandeep Mooker, Investigations Officer of the CFSEU-BC’s JIGIT.
CFSEU-BC’s JIGIT enters into investigations adhering to its mandate as follows: To provide a dedicated, integrated and coordinated multi -jurisdictional investigative and enforcement response to illegal gaming in BC with an emphasis on top-tier organized crime and gangs. These crimes include money laundering; corruption and infiltration; loan-sharking and predatory lending; internet gaming; video gaming machine and device distribution; offshore lottery schemes; high-limit card rooms and underground casinos; and sophisticated bookmaking operations.