After nearly two years of sometimes eye-glazing testimony, B.C.’s inquiry into money laundering will begin grilling politicians this week about dirty cash distorting the provincial economy.

Former Liberal Premier Christy Clark, her controversial minister Rich Coleman, and crusading NDP Attorney-General David Eby will be in the commission’s crosshairs.

The inquiry’s focus on the government’s response to the apparent money-laundering crisis starts today online with Sam MacLeod, the assistant deputy minister and general-manager of the regulatory Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.

The public, however, will probably want to connect Tuesday to hear from Clark, premier from 2011 to 2017, when the flood of suspicious cash swamped B.C. casinos.

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Senior RCMP officer-turned-consultant Peter German adamantly denied at the inquiry into money laundering that he took “marching orders” from B.C. Attorney-General David Eby before writing his two “dirty money” reports.

In the first of two days of scheduled testimony, German was asked point-blank by commission counsel if he was hired to pursue a particular narrative, and whether his work was not sufficiently divorced from the provincial government.

“It’s not true,” German said. “This was an independent report, and the Attorney-General made it very clear to me at the outset that my work was to be independent. … I was to do my own review and come to my own recommendations.

“In my opinion, he exerted no influence whatsoever in that regard on me. … I am not aligned with any political party. I’m not aligned to his party. And I had only met him once before he (hired) me.”

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A key witness says the B.C. government tendered incorrect evidence that caused him to recant a portion of earlier testimony to the Cullen commission about patrons reportedly receiving dirty money at casinos.

A former RCMP officer, B.C.’s first civil forfeiture director, and a former executive at the B.C. Lottery Corp., Robert Kroeker said he was misled during his cross-examination at the inquiry into money laundering.

In an affidavit, he impugned Exhibit 494, a spreadsheet based on a critical 2016 audit of casinos by the Government Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB), described by the province’s lawyer, Jacqueline Hughes, as “a more fulsome extract from the incident reports.”

She used the chart exhibit to undermine Kroeker’s assertion the audit was wrong to assume casinos were “knowingly” accepting illicit money because they watched via security cameras patrons receiving cash deliveries from suspected criminals.

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Police maintain they face a near-impossible task in Canada trying to combat dirty money — investigating a case is complex, labour-intensive, time-consuming, hugely expensive, and the criminal legal process appears to conspire in favour of the unscrupulous.

It is a Gordian Knot facing the inquiry into money laundering.

Consider the various steps investigators take and resources required when there is no crime scene, no bag of cocaine, no murder weapon, no apparent victim — none of the usual elements that prove a crime has occurred.

To begin collecting evidence in a money-laundering case, police initially need to conduct physical and electronic surveillance to confirm their suspicions.

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A retired top-level Mountie has portrayed Vancouver as a hub for international crime gangs where law enforcement is rendered impotent by the country’s legal protections.

While warning of the risk of corruption at the highest levels, retired Supt. Calvin Chrustie told B.C.’s inquiry into money laundering that Vancouver could be a setting for an episode of the Netflix series, Narcos.

He scoffed at concern about the lack of convictions and prosecutions — the game was global and hardball: “They’re playing rugby and we come with a badminton racquet.”

“The biggest impediment I would say, legally speaking, is a legal system that is not aligned … not congruent and not supportive of targeting transnational networks. … Our own legal system really precluded us … (from taking) enforcement action here.”

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