Province receives reports on money laundering

Carole James

TWO reports on money laundering in British Columbia have been delivered to government, following a two-pronged review aimed at shutting down avenues for money laundering in real estate, luxury cars and horse racing.

The reports were commissioned in September 2018 following widespread concern about British Columbia’s reputation as a haven for money laundering.

The first report is to the Minister of Finance from the Expert Panel on Money Laundering, and recommends rule changes that will shut loopholes in the real estate market and increase transparency on who owns property in B.C. The other report is Peter German’s second review into money laundering, focusing on real estate, luxury cars and horse racing.

“Money laundering is a serious problem in our real estate market and this kind of activity has no place in our province,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “Our real estate market should be used for housing people, not for laundering the proceeds of crime. That’s why we asked our expert panel to review our rules and regulations, and to offer concrete actions that we can take to clean up our real estate sector.”

“British Columbians feel the effects of money laundering in their daily lives, with apparent links to organized crime, the opioid crisis and the housing market, which is why we have focused our efforts on quickly shutting down this criminal activity,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “Peter German’s first report made it clear that while money laundering was a significant problem in our casinos, there was also troubling evidence that the criminal economy was growing elsewhere in British Columbia.”

Government will review both reports before making them public later this spring.