Let's compare and contrast: yesterday, when asked about British Columbia Lottery Corp. being fined more than $670,000 for 1,020 violations of the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Act, Solicitor General Mike de Jong told The Vancouver Sun, "Obviously the facilities are there to administer to members of the public engaged in lawful gaming activities and if some of these early reports are true, yes, it is troubling." But, last year, when confronted with allegations there was a "ton of criminal activity" at the province's casinos that wasn't being effectively targeted, the minister responsible Rich Coleman gave us a number of reasons why that wasn't the case.
Among them: "The reality is that we have a system called FINTRAC in casinos, so anything over a certain level of money that comes in has to be reported through a system nationally which is managed through an integrated unit nationally with regards to financial management. So the reality is we know most of the illegal activity takes place in gaming in illegal establishments."
The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada is the same agency that fined the lottery corporation.
BCLC president and chief executive officer Michael Graydon has said those fines were connected to problems with the reports it filed to the centre - not money laundering or terrorism.
The Vancouver Sun paraphrased Mr. Graydon as stating those reports - which record transactions of $10,000 or more - were late, had clerical errors or didn't include enough information to satisfy the Act.
Mr. Coleman didn't respond to repeated interview requests placed through the housing and social development ministry's communications shop.
The fines, which are being appealed, followed an audit the centre conducted between October 28 and November 19, 2009. Mr. Graydon has said the problems that led to the fines have since been solved.