Special counsel decides to dismiss charges in BC money laundering probe

No charges have been filed from a money-laundering investigation into millions of dollars moved through British Columbia casinos and bank accounts in China, and the state’s attorney general has called the multi-year police investigation “frustrating.” ” called the ending.

On Wednesday the BC Prosecutor’s Office issued what is known as a ‘statement of clarity’ special public prosecutor Chris Considine outlines why no charges will be filed from the police investigation known as E-Nationalize.

Considine, a senior Victorian attorney, was appointed to conduct a second review of the case last March after an earlier decision by the Public Prosecutor’s Office that the prosecution criteria were not met and the charges would not be approved. I was.

The investigation will end in 2021 and police have proposed eight indictments against Paul King Zinn of Richmond, British Columbia.

However, Considine concluded that he was unlikely to be found guilty.

“While it is possible to identify on paper a theoretical legal path to conviction, my instincts tell me that prosecution is likely to fail,” Considine clarified. the statement said.

“The public good will not be fully served by undertaking costly and lengthy prosecutions that are futile.”

Attorney General Niki Sharma called the decision “frustrating” but said the government has civil forfeiture and other laws to combat money laundering.

“We as a government are constantly improving our ability to track money laundering in this state,” Sharma said.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has released a letter signed by Prime Minister David Evey when he was Attorney General in November 2021 and sent it to the Criminal Justice Division. special public prosecutor Conducting an independent claims evaluation of the lawsuit against Jin.

Considine was then appointed to make the prosecution decision “as he deems appropriate, exercising his sole discretion,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Jin as “Mr. X.

Launched in 2016 by the Joint Illegal Gambling Investigation Team, E-Nationalize found that between February and May 2017, large amounts of cash, bank drafts, and casino chips amounting to approximately $20 million were received and sent to clients. It said it identified 10 transactions that were moved, and that they were more than $7. A million dollars has been deposited into a Chinese bank account.

“The investigation was long and complicated,” says Considine. “This involved elements of covert surveillance and undercover investigations. I was arrested in.”

He said the investigation yielded 41,877 documents, seized 90 smartphones, and intercepted over two million communications, most of which were in Mandarin.

Considine said in a statement that a potential impediment to prosecution would be to prove illegal cash was involved in Jin’s unlicensed money services business, where many of the alleged transactions took place. said.

“I am also concerned that the strong public interest in prosecuting money laundering is based on the very fact that the royal family cannot prove that the money in question was ‘dirty money’. ing.

Considine says his decision was “difficult,” but he wasn’t convinced that filing a lawsuit would justify the cost, time and possible consequences.

“I fully understand the need for states to take money laundering seriously and send the message that there are consequences from committing such crimes,” he says. I am concerned that if prosecutions costing several crowns and millions of dollars only result in a no-custody verdict, it could send a message to the contrary.”

Jin was represented by a lawyer in a public Cullen Commission investigation into money laundering in British Columbia, which has billions of dollars in illicit funds linked to organized crime, drug trafficking in British Columbia real estate, gaming, and luxury goods. It affected the car sector, but no corruption by the authorities was found.

Former Prime Minister John Horgan appointed former judge Austin Cullen to lead the investigation in May 2019.

This is the second large-scale money laundering investigation in BC that has failed to prosecute.

Considine’s statement refers to a “somewhat similar” E-Pirate investigation by the RCMP’s Federal Serious Organized Crime Division. An investigation that began in 2015 culminated in a money laundering accusation by the Canadian Public Prosecutor’s Office, but Considine says these were eventually stopped in November 2018.