Former Richmond police chief to testify at money-laundering inquiry

A very interesting line-up of witnesses has been announced for the resumption next week of the public inquiry into money-laundering in B.C.

Starting on Monday, Oct. 26, the inquiry – which was postponed due to the snap B.C. election being called – will hear from:

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• Steve Beeksma, a British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Project Specialist and former Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) surveillance shift manager;

• Stone Lee, a BCLC investigator and also a former GCGC surveillance manager;

• Ward Clapham, former superintendent at Richmond RCMP;

• Gord Friesen, a former BCLC manager of investigations and former RCMP officer;

• John Karlovcec, a former BCLC director and former RCMP officer and

• Bal Bamra, a BCLC manager, AML intelligence.

The Cullen Commission of Inquiry was announced on May, 2019 by Premier John Horgan and is independent of government.

Led by Commissioner Austin Cullen, a B.C. Supreme Court judge, the inquiry is looking at the full scope of money laundering in the province, including real estate, gaming, financial institutions, and the corporate and professional sectors.

The commission is required to deliver an interim report by Nov. 15 and a final report by May 2021.

Due to the pandemic, the public hearings will be held via online videoconferencing.

This hearing block next week is the first of two that will focus on gaming, casinos and horse racing.

The hearings will be livestreamed on the website (www.cullencommission.ca). Hearings start at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m.

A video archive of hearings, reports, documents and exhibits from the hearings will be posted online.

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