Two reports on money laundering in real estate and other high-end sectors were handed to the B.C. government today – but it could be a while before they are made public.
The reports were commissioned in September 2018 as part of a two-pronged approach to tackling dirty money being laundered through B.C.’s luxury sectors – primarily high-end real estate, but also luxury cars and horse racing.
The Expert Panel on Money Laundering was convened to create the first report for the Ministry of Finance, recommending rule changes to close loopholes in the real estate market and increase transparency in B.C. property ownership.
The other report is the second of Dr. Peter German’s reviews into money laundering for Attorney-General David Eby, this one 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 finance minister Carole James in a statement April 1. “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.”
Eby stated of Dr German’s report, “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. 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.”
The government said that it would review the contents of both reports before making them available to the public, without specifying a deadline for this.