British Columbia is seeking ways in which it could battle money laundering via expanded and more efficient resources. General Attorney David Eby recently made it clear that the province would aim to increase the number of individuals monitoring the province and detecting money laundering threats part of the policing unit proposed earlier this year.
A recently submitted report revealing more about money laundering in the real estate field has prompted the increased efforts. Over the past several months laundering illegal activity proceeds via the gambling, real estate, horse racing, and luxury cars fields has been a topic of wide discussion not only in British Columbia, but also across the country, and in the US.
In an attempt to reduce the negative impact of this criminal activity and to prevent it from expanding even further, the government is after a bigger policing unit.
Real Estate Field Also Targetted
Former Mountie Peter German recently submitted his second money laundering report, this time focusing on the housing market in British Columbia. The piece of intelligence is currently reviewed by the government, as it could include information that could negatively impact ongoing investigations. However, the details it features have already prompted action.
Mr. Eby stated that there is a concerning issue across the province that should be addressed via a larger team that would look not only into the gambling field but also in the real estate one. The first Peter German report called Dirty Money recommended a special unit that would conduct criminal probes across gaming facilities located in the Lower Mainland. Now the recommended unit would have to see more people joining and expanding its scope to the real estate field.
The reason for this change of plan was that as many as 20 properties located in the Lower Mainland region were linked to individuals previously associated with money laundering. The properties estimated to CA$43 million and were connected to individuals part of the E-Pirate probe conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Probes Would Continue in Lower Mainland
The investigation revealed that more than CA$220 million was laundered with the help of an underground bank in Richmond and casino venues in the region to the likes of River Rock Casino. China and Mexico were the locations where the cash originated from and loan sharks have been known to provide their clients with fresh CA$20 bills at casino venues in the region.
It should be taken into account that the British Columbia Government is going to pour some CA$70 million into money laundering battling in the foreseeable future. In addition to that, about CA$69 million would go towards probes related to supposed money laundering activities in the province. The second Peter German report is going to shed more light onto the subject and shape the new policing unit.
Recent cash washing discoveries point towards River Rock Casino’s gaming scene in the late 90s and when it all started. Former supervisor of the gaming floor spoke about the changes in May 1997 and the way the gaming location was transformed only months later. Following limits jump to up to CA$500 per hand and the introduction of baccarat tables, VIP casino patrons were quick to make their way to the venue with their constant supply of CA$20 bills.