British Columbia’s government are currently looking through the second batch of money laundering intelligence they received last week, but some of the information has already been reviewed. This Monday saw the partial issuing of former Mountie Peter German’s second report on the subject.
It revealed that right now the province has only five federal RCMP officers working on illicit activities linked to money laundering. The second report on which Mr. German worked focuses on the money laundering threats hiding in the real estate field in British Columbia.
In theory, the team of RCMP members equates to 25 individuals. This is the E Division headquarters in Metro Vancouver part of the Federal and Serious Organized Crime Force. The reality, however, is unable to reach the expectations and the report reveals there are only five individuals currently taking care of the subject.
No Efficient Money Laundering Investigation Efforts
None of the employees investigates money laundering issues. Instead of managing probes in relation to money laundering allegations and laying charges, the five Mounties covering British Columbia are rather transferring criminal justice files to the provincial civil forfeiture office.
According to the second money laundering report, this number of people looking into the subject is insufficient for a province that has seen serious money laundering allegations across several sectors. The referral itself is a positive action, as the British Columbia Civil Forfeiture Office has the right to pursue a file even without an existing criminal conviction.
It continues its work on Silver International, considered being closely linked to money laundering in British Columbia even though the court case against it crashed and burned late last year. For the province, this is not enough and Attorney-General David Eby expressed his disappointment. He claimed that the work these five individuals are doing at the moment does not live to the expectations of British Columbians when it comes to money laundering prevention and tracking down the individuals responsible for the crimes.
More Information Soon to Be Issued
The backbone of efforts in this direction should be extensive probes into the criminal allegations, as well as trials aiming to find the truth. Bill Blair, federal Organized Crime Reduction Minister received the information on Friday. In response to the concerns expressed by the British Columbia Attorney-General and the portion of intelligence issued, Minister Blair noted that the federal government has set aside a substantial amount of money for battling money laundering.
It could be recalled that the federal budget for this fiscal year would fortify cash washing efforts with most of the funding going to British Columbia. This Monday saw Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett, overseeing RCMP’s organized crime investigations in British Columbia, state that efforts in this direction have evolved throughout the years. Furthermore, criminal activities are an elusive matter that could not be captured adequately by any report.
This second piece of intelligence focuses more on the real estate field of the province, as well as horseracing, luxury cars. Christine Duhaime, a financial crime and anti-money laundering specialist with Duhaime Law, pointed out that the discoveries yet to come would worsen the image of British Columbia on a national and international level. Earlier this month the U.S. Department of State listed Canada among other international money laundering hubs in its 2019 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.