RCMP’s inept functioning exposed by their former senior officer!
BY RATTAN MALL
FORMER solicitor general Kash Heed told The VOICE this week that the RCMP must be removed completely from provincial and municipal policing and put solely on federal responsibility after Attorney General David Eby revealed to shocked British Columbians that former RCMP senior officer Peter German had reported that there were no dedicated federal RCMP officers in B.C. investigating criminal money laundering.
As part of his review, German was asked to examine why so few money laundering cases have been investigated or prosecuted in B.C. despite the widespread and internationally recognized laundering activities taking place in Metro Vancouver.
German advised the Province that the RCMP team assigned to deal with anti-money laundering, within the Federal Serious Organized Crime branch, is more than three-quarters unstaffed (currently five of 26 employees), and that the five remaining officers are tasked with referring potential criminal cases to B.C.’s Civil Forfeiture Office.
German found that the only RCMP resources dedicated to anti-money laundering investigations within B.C. are provincially funded or operate under the provincial policing agreement.
But this came as no surprise to Heed, who the RCMP went out of their way to target when he was the solicitor general to ruin his political career because he was exposing their “smoke and mirrors philosophy.”
Heed said: “This aspect of dealing with positions that are allocated regardless of what level -federal, provincial or municipal – has been a game plan that this organization has gone through for many, many years. It’s something that I identified when I was a solicitor general and we were doing an audit to really determine whether the positions that they were receiving funding for from the taxpayer were actually still with one body out there doing what was expected of them to do.
“So when Peter German, who had been part of the organization for so many years, made some of the command decisions within the organization, even if you just want to relate this to the money laundering, now comes out with a report that is very, very damning of an organization that he was part of … you really have to wonder what is going on.”
Heed asked: “Are they that inept that we now need to look at redefining the mandate of the RCMP and removing them completely from provincial and municipal policing and putting them solely on federal responsibility? That is the only way that we are going to be able to deal with all the problems that now their [former] deputy commissioner has come out and said that they’ve got significant issues that they are facing.”
He added: “The solution is to redefine them – put them strictly as a federal police agency.”
SOLUTION: B.C.’S OWN PROVINCIAL POLICE SERVICE
WHEN I asked Heed what happened when he was handling these issues as B.C.’s solicitor general (2009-2010), he responded: “The fact that I had launched this audit really upset the organization [RCMP] because from my mandate what I was looking at, at that particular time, was auditing all of the provincial money that was spent on the RCMP because I heard from several members within the RCMP that were contacting me that, for example, positions were allocated, provincial funding was being paid to the RCMP for these positions, but in fact those positions were never filled or the people who were supposed to be in those positions were actually on loan to other positions within the organization.”
Heed said: “So going back to my metaphor, it’s smoke and mirrors policing. And again, it’s been identified with the recent release of [the latest] Peter German report to David Eby. … The government has been aware of what had been going on for quite some time. So for David Eby to come out and say I am going to stomp my fist on the desk and tell Ottawa to fill those positions – it’s not going to happen! It is absolutely not going to happen. He can play politics as much as he wants on this and try and get Ottawa to agree, but all indications are that unless the Province is willing to put up more money into these positions, it’s unlikely that the RCMP would fill them.”
He added: “So then you have to ask is ‘why do we have the RCMP as a provincial police agency in this province if they can’t even deal with this?’ The solution is to bring in B.C.’s own provincial police service to address these particular issues because we are not getting it from the RCMP and really start to disengage from having the RCMP in the Province of British Columbia.”
ORGANIZED CRIME AGENCY CONTROLLED BY RCMP
HEED then pointed out: “When the Organized Crime Agency came to fruition as a designated policing unit under the Police Act … it was a true stand-alone organization here to deal with organized crime, whether it is money laundering, whether it is drug trafficking, human trafficking, sex trafficking, it was here to deal with that. It was taken over by CFSEU.
“When it was actually taken over by CFSEU, all of the funding came through the RCMP. So the RCMP have maintained control over CFSEU … you just have to look at who the chief officer has been for the last 10 years and you will find it’s the RCMP. They are in control of that particular model. Although the Organized Crime Agency has separate members that are part of the designated policing unit, the control, the management, the leadership is all under the RCMP.”
“So it would be difficult with that structure to create the Organized Crime Agency to work on this. So at the end of the day, you have to look at ‘okay, can we remove the Organized Crime Agency and put them on working on truly on organized crime and money laundering or are we going to keep them with CFSEU?’ because it’s not working.”
Heed then bluntly noted: “For 10 years we’ve known about the money laundering not only in casinos because I can tell you we have not even gone past the tip of the iceberg because if you want to look at the stock market you will find that this is a significant area of money laundering and has been for the last 25-30 years, if not longer, and we are not even looking at that.
“When you start to look at luxury cars and the race track, yes, it’s good that you are looking at that but that is low hanging fruit. The real estate one is a big one, but I’ll tell you you’ve got to start to look at the stock market and see how much money is being laundered through that. But again, you have to have resources to do it. The RCMP have said they don’t have the resources to do it. Yes, the positions are there but there are only four or five positions that are actually filled and they are working on civil forfeiture.”
EBY said this week: “Every single dollar in the federal budget for anti-money laundering needs to come to B.C. yesterday. Police experts need to be recruited from across Canada for a specialized team that can start now. There’s not enough time to start from scratch. The money launderers here are already experts, they’re already rich and now we know they’re better resourced.”
German delivered his report to government on March 31 and a thorough review is underway prior to its full release to ensure ongoing investigations are not compromised and named parties have an opportunity to respond. The remaining chapters will be released later this spring.