Industry Reports

British Columbia Government Unveils Plan to Tackle Money Laundering in Local Real Estate Sector

As revealed earlier by Casino Reports, the probe into money laundering initiated by British Columbia Attorney General David Eby has spread beyond casinos.

Now, the province of British Columbia has revealed that it is investigating money laundering in the housing sector. The competent authorities plan to crack down on dirty money transactions through the real estate market, which for the time being is the most expensive property market in the country. The decision has come as the latest step of the Government to tackle the problem with the flow of dirty money into real estate and other sectors of the British Columbia’s economy.

Carole James, the Finance Minister, has appointed an expert panel aimed especially at the real estate sector. Ms. James has outlined the main goal of the authorities, saying that the Government wanted to “get the dirty money out of the housing market”. The Finance Minister also shared that the actions that are to be started as part of the plan will be aimed at finding any gaps in existing law enforcement and compliance, regulations of the local real estate industry, as well as jurisdictional gaps between the federal government, British Columbia and the rest of the country’s provinces.

Second Stage of the BC Money Laundering Investigation Underway

It all began with the allegations of money laundering in the province’s casinos after a shocking footage of high-rollers dragging suitcases full of cash into the Richmond-based River Rock Casino emerged. BC Attorney General then started a probe, with an independent investigation being held by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) deputy commissioner Peter German.

The report of the investigation brought to light even more details about the massive illegal scheme involving some international criminal organizations and massive financial transactions. At the time when Mr. German unveiled the results of his investigation, it was pretty clear that the local casino and gambling industry would not be the only sector affected by a thorough investigation.

As far as the casino and gambling sector of British Columbia is concerned, the findings implemented in the report of Peter German fuelled some calls for more measures to be taken by the BC Government, including a thorough public inquiry on the matter. As mentioned above, the investigation has already spread to other sectors of the province’s economy.

With the second phase of the BC Attorney General’s investigation into illegal money laundering schemes underway, the probe is spreading further into the real estate market of Metro Vancouver.

In August, Attorney General Eby addressed the leader of the Liberal Party, Andrew Wilkinson, asking him to make some high-level confidential documents associated with the money-laundering scheme regardless of the cabinet secrecy laws. Mr. Eby shared at the time that the documents which had been prepared for the previous administration of the local Government could be found extremely useful to the team of investigators which is currently engaged in the process.