After an almost year-long investigation into a Lower Mainland organized crime network, nine people have been arrested in connection with the case.
In a release, BC’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit said it was in May 2016 that investigators first determined that a criminal organization allegedly operating illegal gaming houses, was also facilitating money laundering for drug traffickers, loan sharking, kidnappings, and extortions.
Led by the CFSEU Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team (JIGIT), the investigation “revealed several schemes related to the collection and transferring of large amounts of money within and for the criminal organization,” the release said.
It was also apparent there were “multiple” roles filled by different people which enabled or facilitated the organization in laundering large amounts of money through casinos, said investigators.
A search of six separate homes in the Lower Mainland connected to the investigation resulted in the seizure of large amounts of cash and bank drafts, drug paraphernalia, suitcases, cell phones, computers and other related material.
Also seized were a number of luxury vehicles, including one with what investigators said was a “sophisticated” hidden compartment.
“Top-tier organized crime is not easy to tackle and requires a coordinated approach to achieve results,” said Kevin Hackett, assistant commissioner of the CFSEU-BC. “The individuals associated with this level of criminal activity conducted their operations in a sophisticated manner.”
The team, Hackett said, “was supported by hundreds of resources and thousands of hours of committed and dedicated service by all the officers and support staff involved.”
JIGIT investigators have been working with the Provincial Special Prosecutions Branch, and said the “multi-faceted investigation” continues.