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Former RCMP officer testifies of ‘tangible tension’ between gaming enforcement teams

VANCOUVER — A former RCMP officer has told the inquiry into money laundering that there was “tangible tension” between the two British Columbia policing teams working to prevent illegal gaming in the province. 

Fred Pinnock, who was in charge of the now-defunct illegal gaming enforcement team, testified that he felt the RCMP needed to have an increased police presence in casinos and racetracks, but the suggestion wasn’t “warmly received.”

Pinnock told the inquiry earlier that his team had been working in partnership with the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch but he had to move his staff to a different area of the building because of the rising tensions between the two groups. 

He told the inquiry this week his RCMP superiors’ expectations in working with the branch were to “play nicely, get along,” because they didn’t expect big things from his team. 

Pinnock retired from the RCMP in 2008 and the illegal gaming enforcement team was disbanded the following year.

The inquiry was called by the provincial government after reports outlined how money laundering in the province helped to fuel the real estate, luxury vehicle and gambling sectors. 

The commission is now hearing from Tom Robertson who is a former RCMP officer and investigator with the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2020

The Canadian Press

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