Industry Reports

B.C. Money Laundering Public Inquiry Enters Phase Two

Cullen Commission into Money Laundering in British Columbia is paving the way for more details to be issued, as the commission greenlighted its operation once again. The public inquiry into money laundering enters its second phase and over the following almost four weeks more revelations are expected to be heard by the commission members.

This week is a special one, as British Columbia is ready to hear more about money laundering and the various criminal practices that have taken place in the past. The public inquiry entered its second phase this Monday and the first individual to speak was Stephen Schneider, a criminology professor at St. Mary’s University in Halifax. He made a point regarding the Canadian banks.

Cullen Commission into Money Laundering

Mr. Schneider made it clear that the six Canadian banks in operation are highly popular both among Canadians and the criminals seeking ways to launder large quantities of money. The illicit process itself is facilitated by the diverse financial services those banks have up for grabs. Criminals take advantage of the comprehensive palette of services in-store and use them to launder dirty money.

Some of the services often used by individuals seeking to wash cash are investments and mortgages. They allow criminals to make their money seem legitimate. Along with those services, criminals are often drawn to online services that preserve their anonymity. ATMs across Canada are also often used for the purposes of money laundering. Commission experts listened carefully to everything Mr. Schneider had to contribute to the public inquiry.

The May 25 hearing was scheduled back in February and the unprecedented situation across the country did not interfere with it. The Cullen Commission into Money Laundering in British Columbia listened to everything Mr. Schneider had to say thanks to the conference video call. Many experts participated in it in order to learn more from people that have witnessed illicit activity.

Criminals Use Banks

Mr. Schneider presented his own research on the subject, using news reports in addition to the academic literature on the subject. Criminals have cash generated by drug deals, human trafficking, as well as various international transfers of illicit nature. Groups of criminals utilize the renowned Vancouver model that has been allegedly popularized in brick-and-mortar casino venues across British Columbia.

May 26 is expected to see the second part of Mr. Schneider’s testimony, shedding more light on the money laundering activities across Canada and on a provincial level. The commission would then have to evaluate the entire information it receives over the upcoming three and a half weeks and come up with answers regarding future prevention. May 2021 is expected to witness its final report on the subject.

The first phase of the public inquiry saw its official start mid-February. Transparency International Canada, Canadians for Tax Fairness, and Publish What You Pay Canada presented their knowledge as a coalition and drew the attention to the practice of hiding illegitimate financial transactions for the purposes of tax evasion, also known as ‘snow washing’. Canada is often ranked with other tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, Panama, as well as the Bahamas.