CanadaLaundered money funded $5.3B in B.C. real estate purchases in 2018, report reveals
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An estimated $5.3 billion worth of real estate transactions in B.C. last year were the result of money laundering, helping fuel the meteoric rise of housing prices in the province, according to a new report.
An expert panel on dirty money in the real-estate market estimates that five per cent of purchases in 2018 were made for laundering purposes, contributing to about a five per cent rise in home prices.
Weak rules have made Canada a magnet for money laundering: Don Pittis
A C.D.Howe Institute report says that in Canada 99 per cent of money launderers are never punished. But beneficial ownership rules and prison penalties could change that.
The effect could be more significant in certain markets, including Metro Vancouver, according to the panel.
The report was one of two released Thursday that examine the influence of money laundering in B.C.'s real estate market. Both paint an alarming picture of how criminals are using homes to clean their cash.
Criminal law expert Maureen Maloney was chair of the panel, which made 29 recommendations for dealing with the problem.
Former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German produced the second report, nicknamed Dirty Money 2, which outlines some of the red flags that signal when illegal money is behind a real estate purchase — including unfinanced purchases, private lending, unusual interest rates and purchases by nominees.
Bags of cash, luxury car export scheme described in B.C. money laundering report
VICTORIA — An independent report suggests organized criminals are laundering money through British Columbia's luxury car sector and some are even receiving tax rebates from the province for the transactions. The B.C. government tasked former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German in September to identify potential links between criminal enterprises and real estate, horse racing and luxury vehicle industries. Attorney General David Eby called the findings released Tuesday "disturbing confirmation" that money laundering is a problem in B.C. that goes beyond the previously identified channel of casinos.
Both documents identify numerous gaps in B.C. and Canada's systems for keeping track of purchases and reporting suspicious transactions.
The reports are just the latest entries in German's ongoing investigation into how proceeds of crime are being cleaned in B.C.
Earlier this week, he released some explosive findings on money laundering in the luxury vehicle sector, information that Eby called "incredibly disturbing."
A year ago, German issued a report detailing extensive links between dirty money and B.C. casinos.
More to come.
Alleged ‘heavyweight’ gangster could be poster child for B.C.’s public inquiry into money laundering.
Allegations against Kwok Chung Tam could illustrate how the Vancouver-area real estate market may have been exploited by Chinese organized crime. In 2018, a Global News investigation revealed that a secret police study linked more than $1 billion worth of high-end Vancouver-area property transactions in 2016 to suspected money laundering and organized crime, while an independent review released last week by B.C.'s government estimated $5 billion was laundered through the province's real estate last year alone.